from the blog

Letting Balls Drop at the Holidays

For the first year ever, I’m not sending out holiday cards this year.  I just couldn’t make it happen in time.  I had plans to take the “perfect” picture that were foiled a couple times by various sources (dogs, kids, weather, etc.).  And next thing I knew it was days past the deadline to get the cards by Christmas (much less addressed and stamped and sent back out).  

If ever there was a year to let balls drop, it is this one.  This wild year that already looks so different from every other year.  I’ve noticed I’m receiving less holiday cards this year from friends, too.  I was on at least one text chain with friends trying to decide whether they were going to send them this year.

I really wanted to.  I love the process of making a card each year.  And I love looking back on the old cards over the years.  I tend to put the cards I receive each year on my refrigerator and then spend extra time standing in front of the refrigerator looking at them for months.  I haven’t done that yet this year, either.  It makes me sad that I didn’t get my own holiday card out.  

When I stop and think about it, I can’t believe how much we survived this year.  Obviousy, there’s the global pandemic.  Homeschooling.  The election.  The fight for racial justice.  And nearly every person I know has also been dealing with incredibly challenging personal stuff as well.  It has been, in a word, a doozy.  

And now the year is nearly over.  A vaccine is on its way.  It seems that hope is looming in the not-too-distant future.  Thank heavens.  We’ve nearly made it to the end, it seems.  

So, just as I would advise anyone else (it can be hardest to follow our own advice, can’t it?), I’m trying to be gentle with myself right now.  I know it’s not a big deal to not send a holiday card in the grand scheme of things, and I also want to enjoy this holiday as much as possible.  It has been a really hard year for me, and I’d like to relax and enjoy the end of the year with family and friends. 

So, join me in letting some balls drop this year, will you?  Let’s see what we can let go of, while holding on to the things that really matter.  

And, while we’re at it, let’s give ourselves credit for the year we just lived through.  The ways that we kept walking, one foot in front of the other, through the wildest, most unpredictable year of our lives.  The ways we dealt with quarantine, with loss, with a zillion challenges, with parenting during a pandemic.  The trips we had to cancel, the friends and family we couldn’t see, the ways we pivoted to meet the incredible challenges 2020 brought.  

You have done so much to make it to this point.  Let yourself feel pride in that.  I know, personally, if anyone had told me at the beginning of the year all that the year held in store for me, I would have doubted that I could make it through.  (Hell, if anyone had told me how long my kids were going to be out of school, I think I would have had a heart attack on the spot!).  But here we are.  We made it to the end of 2020, through tears and heartache and challenge.  And we’re still here to tell!  On plenty of days there’s even been laughter.  

So, while we’re letting balls drop, let’s pat ourselves on the back as well.  We’ve never lived through anything like this year.  And, chances are, we never will again.  So let’s hold onto the lessons, the growth, the strength we discovered in ourselves, and let the rest drop as much as we can.  

I wish you relaxing, joy-filled, and happy holidays.  And the best 2021 you can imagine!