It’s hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone. My house doesn’t know that Christmas is over. Slowly but surely, the Christmas decorations are coming down. I usually take all the decorations down at once, but this year, I’ve decided to take my time. There is no need for Advent calendars now, but I’m enjoying a lit tree for a little while longer. I spent so much time making sure that Christmas was special and memorable, and now all I want to do is relax. The kids are enjoying all their new toys and crafts, and without the demands of our regular routine, it is giving me a chance to just ‘be’.
As I look around my home, it feels like there is an unfinished project in every corner. Each project screams of great intentions and not enough time or energy to finish them. It’s hard to find the time to devote to time intensive projects when life interrupts constantly with “I’m hungry” or “He hit me” or “He’s coloring on the walls again”. There is always something that takes priority.
Christmas anticipation and excitement has calmed down, but the demands of day-to-day school/work routine has not restarted. It’s an in-between time. A time to reflect and a time to plan.
As I reflect, I can quickly get discouraged with all the things that I wanted to get done but didn’t. Or I can see this in-between time as a chance to re-charge. Running a household often feels like the house is running away from me and I can never quite catch up. Now the household has slowed down, and it’s time for me to grab a hold of it and send a clear message that I’m in charge. I could quickly spend this next week staying busy with this and that, or I can choose to be intentional. A little bit of intentionality with a tad of planning goes a long way.
As the end of the year approaches, let’s be intentional with how we spend it. Whether it’s reaching out to that friend who you intended to have coffee with but never made it happen or that mud room that seems to grow extra shoes and backpacks overnight, take the next few days to accomplish something.
If we are honest with ourselves about what we really wanted out of this year, it might not be as “productive” as you think. Instead of looking at our unfinished to-do list or unmet 2013 Resolutions, maybe we should take a closer look at what we really value. What is our priority? Productivity often looks like completed checklists, but maybe productivity isn’t the main goal. True success is living a life that is true to your values. You might reflect on the past year and realize that you value quality time with your beloved children and you didn’t spend enough time playing with them. This in-between down time might be best spent just playing barbies and legos. We will never regret slowing down and enjoying the ones we love most.
I haven’t had the cleanest house or the most organized one, but sometimes it just makes more sense to play with the toys that I’m stepping over rather than pick them up. For me, these next few days will be filled with a bit of organizing and purging and a bit of dolls and superheroes. I want to finish the year well, doing what I value most. Being a mom and keeping the house are my two biggest jobs right now. In retrospect, there are lists not completed and goals not met, but I want to choose to focus on what is truly important. I want to give thanks for what has been given. I want to receive grace for my disappointment and failures. For it is within the grace that I find hope. Hope that next year will be better. Hope that more goals will be met, but not because I mustered the motivation to meet them, but because I’m living life with grace filled intention. Instead of dissecting unreached resolutions and unfinished to-do lists, why don’t we look at what is truly important and just cherish it. As I cross the finish line of 2013, I’m not racing towards the end, but I’m going to slow down and enjoy it.
How are you spending your in-between time? How are you hoping to finish well?