We talk about the struggle of folks who live paycheck to paycheck. That was my life as a young married person and then as a divorced mom for many years. But there’s another kind of struggle which comes from too much work, too many commitments, not enough time.
How do you make a life, how do you make a home, when there’s not enough time?
My husband and I both work full time. He works two jobs. We both have extra events on evenings and weekends. Our teenaged daughter has rehearsals, church events, social gatherings...
We just got our Christmas tree up yesterday. If Amazon did not exist we would not be having presents at all.
Perhaps part of our problem is that we are all innately introverts, so we require a lot of recovery time from all those outside commitments. Cleaning the house for the holidays, baking cookies, decorating, sending cards? Nope, we’re cocooning. We have to be nudged to get moving on those things.
Back in the day, and by this I do mean the “white middle class suburban” day, it was Mom’s job to make the home, to shape the life of the family. Her own existence was subsumed into that one goal. Imagine one person in your household whose job it is to make sure everyone else’s world goes smoothly.
If you have that at your house—great! Lots of us don’t.
We struggle. We’re not very good at calendars or planning ahead. We love our family and our friends and we will celebrate the holidays as best we can but it’s not going to be House Beautiful or Southern Living over here. We will treasure the joy we have and revel in the extra time with family and away from the obligations and cares that normally command our attention.
Although we are not well to do, we have enough. We are keenly aware of this and we are grateful. Our poverty comes in the lack of time. It seems there is never enough. We look at the photos of our friends’ homes and social events on Facebook and wonder how they do it.
Time. It’s so precious. Our modern lives are so overcommitted and fragmented. And yet the holidays come anyway and we find our own ways to celebrate. We choose the most important things and let others fall to the wayside. We create new traditions that fit the people we are now.
No matter what holidays you celebrate, I hope that this season brings you some of that precious time to experience what brings you the most joy.
Celebration in the Woods Advent Calendar: