Sunday, March 11, 2012

insouciance - when did holidays get so noisy?

I'll be honest. This is a difficult post for me to construct. You see, Hallmark holidays were rarely celebrated in my house growing up, and I've kept up this “tradition.” I'm the parent who says, “oh nuts, it's Valentine's day tomorrow? We'd better run to XYZ store and pick up some cards.” “Oh nuts, it's St. Patrick's Day tomorrow? Do you have anything green and semi-clean to wear?” You get the idea.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't an intentional political statement on my part – after all, the word intention suggests a certain level of deliberation. It's just that I don't understand the fuss.

Furthermore, I – like all of you – am busy. Busy, in a way that consistently surprises me. Busy, after 8 years of parenting, that doesn't seem like it SHOULD surprise me. Busy, with laundry to wash – kids to transport – dog poop to scoop – professional obligations to meet – PTO meetings to try and attend – desperately needed new socks to buy – the list is endless, isn't it? And I have the luxury of a partner who works diligently to share these responsibilities.

Hallmark, and other noted-on-the-calendar-but-in-my-heart, holidays contribute to the noise that surrounds this busy-ness. Noise which makes individual events less decipherable, and which takes away from my mindfulness while doing them. You probably know this noise. The “sound” in your head which reminds you that the grocery store is on your way to buy new socks, so maybe you should run in quickly and pick up that gallon of milk. The “sound” of guilt when you're opting between that PTO meeting when you'd really rather spend time snuggling with your oldest to read Harry Potter together. The “sound” of angst when you realize that you'll be returning from a conference on a day developed to celebrate loved ones – without any physical object to symbolize that love.

Frankly, Hallmark holidays represent just another noise to me, in an often-times cacophonous world. That said, my personal resolution is to minimize these and other noises that take away from my ability to be present with my family, other loved ones, and myself. One of my fellow bloggers noted the importance of random acts of kindness, and how these stand to change the world. To that end, I've just decided to make my slow adoption of Hallmark holidays intentional (and maybe even political), and focus on demonstrating love for my family and others around me when the feeling strikes, not when the calendar tells me to. By doing that, I'm hopeful that I will learn to turn down the volume, and not be overwhelmed by the different noises confronting me.

Simultaneously, I want to thank those around me who enjoy holidays – all holidays – and use them as ways to be present and foster love with their loved ones. I so enjoy seeing how you, and your little helpers, meticulously plan the ways that you're going to share your love of holidays with others around you. It's too much noise in my life because holiday preparations are on the fringes for me. However, some of you embrace these as opportunities to develop connections, and live in the moment. I will continue to be inspired by your intention, while living in my own sense of insouciance when it comes to Hallmark holidays.

insouciance - blithe nonchalance.

1 comment:

  1. As always, I love this. What neat ideas that I need to go think about for a while - especially the word choices describing mental noise.