(I will be so very happy when I can put pictures up again. The New Year promises internet at home, huzzah!)
Celebrations have come and gone.
I was very fortunate this year to have Christmas Eve off in its entirety. We spent the day baking cookies and the evening traveling to friends' homes for food, fun and holiday cheer. It was wonderful, but I totally admit to being a morning person, so by 10 PM I was turning into a pumpkin.
Christmas morning was full of fun and change. This was my first Christmas in my own home. Each year before I would take the niblets to my parents' home, to spend the night and days afterward and basically have the same sort of holiday I grew up with. Even if it wasn't quite what I wanted to do, but it was family, and family is a big deal around the holidays here.
Friday was about family also. My family. I awoke in my own bed to hear the niblets downstairs enjoying a video and their stockings. A wonderful thing about blending families is blending traditions: for my husband, we hung the stockings on Christmas Eve and got to sleep in while the kids went through their stockings; for myself, we opened presents after I had my prerequisite cup of coffee (or three). We let the niblets hand out gifts, and enjoyed in turn what Santa and family brought us.
That afternoon we went to my parents home, where there was enough food for three times the amount of people, where my mom made sure everyone had a wonderful Christmas, almost at the expense of herself. She just had surgery last Wednesday, but seemed to forget that. (Heart surgery, mind you. How do you forget THAT?!?!) I sat amidst my family as presents were handed out, paper was flying, children were cheering - all in all, the same sort of Christmas I have had every year since I was a child. And felt very overwhelmed and lost in it.
Don't get me wrong, my family is wonderful and supportive and giving - it was just...too much, in many ways. I got to compare two very different family rituals, one created with my assistance, one with just my participation. It was quite a difference, but both full of love.
But, the niblets loved their time in both places, and new and old family traditions are being formed and melded. And I had a chance to begin my own family holiday - the ritual that has been needed for so long with those closest to me, my heart, my family. My own. I got to have it the way I wanted, pretty much. A piece of authenticity in my Life.
Realizing through the years that I haven't always put my best Self - my true Self - forward has now become the focus for this next one. Many times I see that when the niblets are away, I can let my hair down, kick my shoes off, and behave like "the person I want to be". So, what does that say to my children, to other parents I associate with, to my husband? That I can't be my true Self unless I feel unfettered? That I am always more stressed being a mother than being a woman? That I live separate lives, depending on the company I keep? How do I teach my children lessons on always being true to themselves and the world, if I cannot live those lessons myself?
The coming of the New Year brings many, including myself, to compile a list of resolutions, goals to focus on as the Wheel turns and the world celebrates ushering out the old. Many of these are picked up and dropped year after year: losing weight, being healthy, finding more joy, taking time for yourself, lessening stress, being better.
How can I better myself if I am not being My Self? I can strive to be my "best" Self, but had it pointed out that the real way to be my best is to be my most authentic Self. To live the Life I want as the person I truly am, at every moment.
So, my New Year's Resolution, is to rediscover (or discover for possibly the first time) my most authentic Self. And be Me.
Happy New Year.