Today, the last Saturday before Christmas is normally reserved for either frenzied elbow jabbing in the shops or equally frenzied searching of the house because I can’t remember what I bought or where I hid it. If I’m really out of luck, I do one followed by the other.
Not today. Today, the prime weekend real estate has already been filled with yoga, making tea in my new (thanks work Secret Santa) mug and Whatsapping my sister. Now I’m writing a blog post instead of a to-do list. Have I completely lost my marbles? Do I not know the significance of the day?
Nope. I’ve realised something important. It might not look it, but it’s a big deal to me.
I am not responsible for everybody’s everything. Not my job. Not any longer. Can’t fix it and I don’t want to.
For the longest time, I had carried around a core belief that I was all about sorting out shit for other people, the more and the shitier the better. In fact, the belief went, the more I sorted out the more they’d love me and the shinier I’d become. And actually it worked for most of the time and I could squeeze the stuff I actually need for me into the margins. I was a virtuous blur of activity. Did you notice?
Probably not. The thing is, all that happened is I got blurrier. Lost in the blur actually. And that’s no good to anyone, least of all me.
It’s one of the reasons Christmas is such a challenge. All that hard-to-ignore messaging about needing to be busy and more productive and making your own biscuits – the hostess with the
mostest headache. You see, it’s fine if you aren’t already at total full flat-out capacity from years of being the Queen of Responsibility. In that case, there’s nothing left for stuffing mushrooms or hunting down the perfect gift for someone who can buy whatever they like from the internet any day of the year. And that was me. Utterly outfaced by the first ‘top tips for seasonal serenity’ article and frankly busted by the time the supermarkets released their smug family adverts. (And, yes, I know it’s all marketing and doesn’t mean a thing but my subconscious is a bit slow on the uptake.)
So here we are. Dishes unwashed and gifts unfound. My new mantra (best muttered through gritted teeth) is ‘I’m not responsible for that’ and swiftly replaced by ‘put your own oxgyen mask on first’.
In fact, walking the walk, I left Boys One and Three to their own devices yesterday and came home to this: