And it's kind of expected when we're in a big countdown such as Advent that exclamations of, "Where is the time going?!" and "It's HOW many days until Christmas?" will ring out. And it's true that I'm regularly taken aback by how fast the days wing by (although if you ask my daughters, that's my natural state of being year round. I say things like, "The other day, when I...." and they correct me: "You mean that time three months ago, Mom?")
Ahem. So, yes, I'm not the one to ask about the sands of time. It's all wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff to me.
Still. I am not immune to the laments, the pondering, the desperate questions about why the timey wimey stuff has to dribble away. Just the other day, a friend of mine (a much younger friend) said that this past year seems to have zoomed by and I gave her an urgent, "Just wait! It gets worse every year!" (Further proving that we all become the people we were once extremely annoyed by.) She immediately dubbed me the Debbie Downer of the gathering, and she was right.
But this Advent, I'm living my "No Panic" advice (I always try to, but you know I'm not perfect -- witness this post from the original No-Panic series in which I talk about scrounging up tights at the last minute and grumbling about the gift bags not being on sale.)
This Advent, I'm trying not to:
- Analyze how quickly time is passing. I have a predilection to analyze everything, so it's always a sacrifice to force myself not to analyze.
- Live in the past. Christmas with older offspring is different from the way Christmas was when my girls were little. I don't want to focus on that because these days offer their own gifts.
- Worry about the gift choices I've made, the presents I've already wrapped, the stuff I've already shipped ("Will she like it? Did I do enough? Will he think that's stupid?" Stop it, already, Karen.)
- Worry about having a Christmas card that brilliantly summarizes our year or our lives ("Should I have taken a family photo instead of slapping those three snapshots into a collage?" Again with the Stop It.)
- Berate myself for not baking for everyone I know. (I never bake for everyone I know. Am I a Grinch? I don't know, but I also don't know how this idea got started that we all have to bake for each other and take baked goods everywhere we go and give them to everyone we know. I mean, if we're all busy baking for each other all the time, then when will we find time to sit down and drink coffee? All that baking and all that tastefully-arranging-treats-on-a-plate is exhausting. And it leaves us less time to read Kristin Lavransdatter.)
- Think that everyone should be like me. Do you love to bake for everyone you know? Do you find it fun and relaxing? Do you enjoy arranging things tastefully on plates? And delivering said tasteful stuff to me? I'll take it.
- Waste time on the small stuff. And other than Jesus, it's pretty much all small stuff.
This Advent, I am trying to:
- Notice time, but not be controlled by it.
- Love the moment I'm in. There are so many to love. While it's fun to reminisce about what Christmas was like when my girls were tiny, or when I was first Catholic, or whatever, it's also bliss to revel in this moment, these ages, all this stuff that is right in front of me.
- Watch and wait.
- Bake. A bit. Gingerbread houses. Lucia bread. Things Ramona wants to learn how to make.
- Read all of our favorite Advent books.
- Love this wibbly wobbly timey wimey world that passes us by too quickly and not soon enough (which reminds me of this old post, in which not-quite-five-year-old Ramona told me why "earth is the specialest planet.")
So, it's the second week of Advent. Have you noticed?