Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Advent Calendar of Good Deeds v. 2016

By the beginning of November, I realized I needed to slow down a little. Volunteer less. Delegate more.

I was spread a little too thin. The five kids (first of all, five kids, okay?) are all starting to have their own clubs and activities which meant more staying on top of carpooling and schedules. The house, the yard. The three local part time jobs, the theatre troupe, the volunteering, the exciting and exhausting traveling and performing with the Moth two times in as many months. 

Juggling was exhausting. I needed to start saying "no." Things would still get done without me. "

And then . . . the election. The devastation, the sorrow, the disbelief with each new appointment and the utter despair at the rise in hate crimes and language, some of it happening entirely too close to home.

There is no way I can slow down now. Maybe I do take on too much, but eventually it all gets done, right? So I can obviously handle it. I have to keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight, being the change I wish to see in the world, speaking my mind even when my voice shakes.

I AM WOMAN, HERE ME ROAR: I CAN DO ALL OF THE THINGS FOR EVERYONE ALL OF THE TIME! I am going to continue saying yes, admittedly with more delegating and asking for help, but I am saying yes.

But oh shit. December starts this week and I’m going to be working (outside of the home) a lot this month, when am I going to get my holiday shopping done? When are we going to get a tree? OH SHIT. December starts this week and I haven’t even thought about our Advent Calendar of Good Deeds.

Maybe I’ll skip it this year.
But the election.
But I'm so tired.
But now more than ever doing good is so important to me, even when I'm tired.
But the lack of time. The upcoming work schedule.
The kids. The example being set. The tradition.
I can’t.
I must.

Maybe there’s another way . . . there has to be another way. Maybe we can do this with a slightly different focus this year. Maybe instead of a good deed every single day (which, while nice for my kids to do, in all honesty requires a good amount of work done by me) we can do a few good deeds. Other days can include lots of holiday-oriented activities to do as a family. We’re pulled in so many directions these days and when we’re all home aren’t necessarily doing things together. We could be making gifts. Baking. Reading. Visiting. Expanding our understanding and compassion by learning about other holidays and cultures.

No, I’m not giving up. I’m not giving in. I’m changing course. Putting on my own oxygen mask first. Speaking up even when my voice shakes--and doing good even when I'm tired. Prioritizing family time. Teaching my children well. This year more than ever.

I wrote the above on Sunday and then put "Advent Calendar!" on my to-do list for Monday. Then moved it to Tuesday's list. And then Wednesday's list. Last night after I got the little kids tucked in, even though I was exhausted, I started stitching the little pockets. I actually liked how they were turning out! But then after the sewing machine was put away realized a few weren't sewn properly. I taped them. After I got them hung up, I realized just how many loose threads there were, but the scissors were already put away. I ignored them. This is the Advent Calendar of Good Deeds version 2016.

They look like tiny shopping bags! I love them!

Sewing machine is away. Damn it. Tape to the rescue.

Not perfect. Still sweet.

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