It’s kind of my go-to answer these days. You know the questions, “How’s it going?” “How is school?” “How are you feeling?” “What are you doing later?”
I can efficiently answer a lot of questions with just one word, and I think a lot of people can relate to how that feels. Which is why this last week has been so odd, and such a relief at the same time.
To give you a little background, I’ve never been one to sit around and do nothing for more than maybe a day (or two) of some R&R. I’m frequently on the go. There’s always something that needs to be done. Work that needs to get accomplished. Errands that need to be run. Chores that need to be completed. Grocery lists that need to be made. Laundry that needs to be cleaned. Clothes that need to get bought, I mean… sorry, let’s get back on track. You get the idea. So with this mindset that there’s always something that I need to be doing, it can be tough to relax at times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually really good at taking naps. In fact, I’d consider it a strength (can you put that on a resume?). But it’s also usually because I’m completely worn out between my job, my second job, and raising a toddler. Sometimes it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open.
Back to my story. When I left school the Friday that Thanksgiving break started, I was so excited. Yes, I was excited to see family and to eat enough food to feed a small army, but mostly, because I had nothing planned. Do you know what a strange feeling that was for me? To have nine days of nothing? Sure, I had Thanksgiving plans with my side and my husband’s side of the family, that’s a given, and I love that time with family. But other than that, nothing pressing to do, nothing that I had to get done. So, I was excited. Oddly, it also caused a little bit of anxiety. Was I forgetting something? Why am I not busy? What should I be doing? There has to be something! I even double (triple) checked my calendars to make sure that I wasn’t forgetting something. When I knew that it was for real, it was like I could breathe for the first time in a long time.
This year, I had a Thanksgiving break for the record books. The record that I set was for the “laziest, get-nothing-accomplished-ist, do-hardly-anything-ist” Thanksgiving break that I think I’ve ever had. And you know what? It. Was. Awesome.
No, I don’t think this is going to spur a new trend in my productivity as a human being, but it sure was nice to enjoy some quality time with my family. Looking back, sure, I got some things “accomplished,” but they didn’t feel like tasks. I had the time to simply do them, and it was an enjoyable part of my day. I put up Christmas, got groceries multiple times, cleaned house, made dinners, bought some Christmas gifts, etc. But I wasn’t rushed to get these things done. I got do to them on my own time, at my own pace, and with my family. Gosh, what a different feeling that is than rushing around like a mad-woman on a weekend trying to get everything done. Sometimes, putting up Christmas can be a chore. I love the end product, but the process can sometimes be a bit… blah. Not this year. Our daughter loved EVERY second of “helping” mommy put up the decorations, putting the ornaments on the tree, and seeing the lights turn on. And I loved every second of watching her. This Thanksgiving break was the most consecutive days of quality time that I got with my daughter that I can recall in a very long time, and I cherished every second of it. (Well, maybe not the seconds that I had a toddler throwing up the day after Thanksgiving…we’ll just call that day a wash.) Bottom line is, it was nice to slow down, to enjoy the small things. To spend nine days giggling, tickling, playing, goofing, chasing, loving and snuggling was pure bliss, and I am so incredibly thankful to have had that time.
Here’s the thing. I love working. It’s part of who I am. I love what I do. I feel like the work that I do is important and meaningful. I’m not tooting my own horn here, but I feel like most educators will tell you the same thing. I believe in public education, and I want to do my part to make it the best that I possibly can. Along with this comes business. I want to make something clear though – just because I love my job, and I can be very busy at times, it doesn’t mean that my family comes second. I’m a wife and a mom, first and foremost. Sure, there are responsibilities that keep me away from home some nights, but family will always come first. So while these past nine days have been truly amazing, I’m also ready to get back at it tomorrow. (Can I get an “Amen” for having a schedule?…but not one that starts at 5:00 a.m…) This Thanksgiving break will go down as one of my favorites of all time. Nothing spectacular happened – it was quite ordinary from anyone looking on from the outside. But in my heart, I’ve been spending some time and energy thanking Jesus for a perfect break. Tomorrow, if someone asks me how my break was, I’m going to be thrilled to not have to answer “busy.”
I hope you had some opportunities to enjoy your friends and family as much as I did over the holiday. Whether you’re a working mama or a stay-at-home mama, or somewhere in between, the work you do every day is important and meaningful. I hope you have times like I did this past week where you’re able to slow down, enjoy the small things, and fill your days with lots of little kisses.
Thanks for reading,