Later today I’m having a minor surgery on my big toe – such a minor thing, but the prospect of not driving for three weeks and being fairly non-ambulatory for a period of time has required a fair amount of preparation.
I’ve had to think about my day to day life, about what my needs would be and prepare to have all of that handled. I’ve done a lot of upfront preparing. My two best friends are here to help (one came up from Florida for two weeks to stay with me, the other is a daily blessing in my life and will continue to be so). House is cleaned, laundry done, food for me and cats is here. Very importantly for me, the voracious reader, is that I have 3 books teed up and my whole “to be read” bookshelf at my beck and call.
Many of you have been preparing for Solstice/Hanukkah, Christmas or whatever winter holiday you celebrate. There were gifts to buy, and then wrap, special foods to cook or bake, a house/condo/apartment to clean and decorate, clothes to be prepared for festive occasions. And some of you are lucky enough to have wee children for whom to create magic and memories.
We do all of this in advance so that the awaited for event and time will be enjoyed with ease. So that we can be fully present and have the best experience possible. So that we can create magic and memories (or, in my case, a good gait!).
When I was a kid, my Dad was preparing to paint our dining room. I said “oh, Daddy, you hate to paint!”. He said, “No, painting is fine – it’s kind of enjoyable. It’s the preparation and cleanup I don’t like.”
What I’ve been learning is that preparation and cleanup are part of the continuum of the event – not apart from it. When I can see them as part of the whole gestalt, not as something dreaded to rush through to get me to the goodies, it goes better. I very consciously did that as I have prepared for this brief hiatus in my usual gadabout life. I’m also seeking to reframe being sedentary and housebound as a meditative period, a renewal, rather than as a prison. I think it will make a difference – but we’ll see that soon enough.
For now, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care (truly), the house is clean, I have sweatpants to wear home (an article of clothing not previously owned) so my bandaged foot doesn’t have to wrangle with jeans. The gifts are wrapped. The Advent-like period of preparation is complete. Now I’m ready for the next act to unfold.
I hope that your preparations for holiday magic are complete (or will be soon) and that you can relax into the unfolding of the next act of the play. May you see the magic that you have created and the magic that life gifts us all with. May you be merry and bright. May your blessings be both many and glaringly obvious to you.
Happy Solstice/Hanukkah/Christmas to one and all!