“I have reached the stage now where luxury is not in fine possessions but in carefree possessions, and the greatest luxury of all would be the completely expendable.”
At this time of year, the garden is making its final preparations for its annual slumber. Each successive frost reminds the plants to stop growing and producing flowers. Instead the plants begin to adjust their energies to their roots…a time to put all their focus below the soil and build up their resources now at the most basic level. Where there is warmth and nourishment for growth.
Unlike in spring and summer, where the emphasis is on the outer growth of the plant….the leaves and flowers. We work furiously in our gardens to prepare for the emergence of the plants. We weed, cut back and remove impediments so we can celebrate each new bloom as it appears. And then with the heat of summer, we sit on the front porch to cool ourselves and witness the beauty created before us…nature in all her glory.
I have spent many days, languishing in the shade of my porch and gazebo to observe the critters buzzing and chirping about. To hear the gentle wind blow through the grasses, and watch it sway the multitude of flowers. What sheer bliss.
But it seems with the coming of late fall and winter, we grieve for our gardens. Nature lays waste to our precious masterpiece, wildlife retreats and we are left with cold, fierce winds and icy cold rain and snow. We finish our garden chores and move indoors to find warmth, and a bit of relaxation.
But instead of kicking back, taking some deep breathes and going within to replenish ourselves, we seem to do just the opposite. Our lives seem more hurried than when the plants were lush and the garden chores many.
I find myself impatient, sluggish, restless and frustrated. Some of these feelings because I cannot be outside in my beloved garden and nature, but more because of the holiday season. There is so much to do!
Cleaning, baking cooking, decorating, shopping, sending cards…ugh! Not a holiday, where the word should conjure up rest, recreation, and freedom from work. No, quite the opposite in fact. The feeling of having to rush, rush, rush to get it all done before the holiday is here…not really getting a chance to enjoy the holiday season. Instead it’s the annual race to finish it all and make it the best, brightest and prettiest holiday ever, takes charge!!
Well I for one cannot do that anymore. I have given it up. Given up the cards…I send a few ecards to family. No more baking except for one little dessert for a special meal. I can’t have the sugar anymore anyway. I have a faux tree already strung with lights...no judgments please. I use a few decorations, and have purged the rest so I am not tempted to get them out and go through all the decorating hub-bub.
So why did I do all this. Because it just wasn’t feeling like a holiday…the spirit of the winter season and Christmas holiday had somehow been lost. When I should have been slowing my pace and enjoying, I was actually in high gear with too much anxiety and frustration over all the ‘Have To Do’ things….and it spilled over to family making their holiday less than pleasurable.
Now instead, I ‘get to do’ those things I love. Yes I know many people cannot just chuck it all. There are family traditions, children, grandchildren…but I do think we all need to find a bit of time for ourselves and for our own sanity. You say you don’t have the time. Well that is precisely when you need to find some time!
Start slow and with one thing. Not sending as many cards perhaps. Or holding back on some of the baking and decorating. It really is an individual thing. Look for those things that no longer give you joy, and start your purging there. That is how I started. And certainly keep those traditions you love. They are important.
Cutting back on a one or two small things will allow you to slow your pace. Giving you a needed break. And did you know that if you slow down as you move through your holiday rituals, you will enjoy them more. So take a cue from nature and her rhythms to slow down this time of year. Savor the beauty of nature and the season. The time spent with loved ones. Give the gift of time to yourself to renew…get to know yourself and reconnect with your inner core to build your strength below the surface. Allowing your body, mind and soul to grow again….finding that sheer bliss inside!
So how do you slow down the pace right now and enjoy the winter and holiday season? You can read more of my thoughts about winter in my posts, Winter’s Gifts and Winter’s Moods.
Special Note: The pictures, in the first part of the post, were taken this year from my front porch. The violas, I grew from seed, were a special view as they were planted in multiple vases. The other views are of my gazebo. Each of these pictures evokes a sense of relaxation for me.
I leave you with a few additional words On Slowing the Pace. I welcome you to download the photo and share it.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.