Photo: In case you ever wonder about what Santa does on his day(s) off. He sits around in his spa robe and checks his list which is now computerized and much easier to cull.
The thing is, I'm really focused on it. I can't think of what to buy people for Christmas, or when to get cards written, or how to fit baking and vacuuming into the next few days. Did I mention I'm having company on Saturday? I keep telling myself it will all get done, because in my experience it will. But like standing out the check out counter searching for my check card, with a hundred dollars worth of groceries in bags before me and a line of grumpy customers behind me I have to panic a little for good measure. And I must also tell my inner Martha Stewart to lighten up. I am NOT going to make pastel colored royal icing for my cookies then individually place silver dragees (those little silver balls that crack your teeth) along the edge. Not in a box, or with a fox; not in a house and not with a mouse.
Oh God, now I'm channeling Dr. Seuss
So instead of finishing up at least one of my projects, I made the mistake of sitting down at the computer. Because I was thinking of how much easier my life might be if I made more lists.
One of the Christmas traditions that I have grown to look forward to more than dreamy possibility that Santa might bring me a winning Powerball ticket and wipe away all my worries, is Weneki's annual Favorites list. A few years ago she began including her "Things that Moved Me" and "Top 10 Movies" in her Christmas cards. Gradually the lists have grown to include favorite live shows, songs, food and drink, all in 8pt font.
A lot of the movies, bands and songs I've never heard of. Actually make than most of them. It's fun, however, to see that she not only enjoyed them but can remember them! Her things that moved me list never fails to move me. My daughter doesn't live a magical life without pain or sadness, but she never fails to make a list at the end of the year where she blesses the goodness in her life.
Last fall I watched my woman/child achieve a spectacular physical goal for which she'd trained for 9 months. It was like watching a person I'd never seen before. How can that be? How can a mother not know her own child? The reality is that even though I've known her since she took her first breath, my daughter has grown into a beautiful and remarkable woman. This is no surprise, yet it takes my breath away when I realize I've missed so much of transformation.
Is this a stage of parenting that I didn't know about? And how does it compare with a father/daughter relationship that seems to have never left the oedipal stage? Just when I feel like a grown woman who can manage life's ups and downs, my dad says something that makes me feel 3 years old. It's kind of weird, don't you think?
On another note, I think the quote at the top of this post is going to be my mantra for the New Year. I'm not a goal maker - no surprise there! But I like the idea of moving towards my own personal rainbow!
But here's another one I liked almost as much by novelist/journalist/screenwriter/children's author and comic writer, Neil Gaiman:
Perhaps the last line is a tad exaggerated, but I think the point is well made. How can one find their own rainbow, and not know some of life's important lessons? Maybe that's where a good list comes in.
Wishing for you time enough for holiday projects, lunch with creative friends, remembering things that moved you this year, and visions of a rainbow with your name on it,