There are things that I know, but I need to be reminded of especially during a holiday season so different.
When things slow down because the typical holiday celebrations aren’t here, I feel holes in me that sadness sometimes fills. Instead of trying to push them away or deep down inside, I think about what is behind the feeling. Maybe it’s missing a parent or thoughts of an argument that I had with my daughter. I give the feeling some space inside me. I let myself feel it, because pushing or shoving it will just make it grow and reappear another time.
When things pile up because I don’t have the energy to deal with them, whether it is laundry, dishes or feelings, I sift through them one at a time. I give myself time; I don’t rush. I remind myself that it is ok to be slow; I encourage myself to do just a little bit more. Later, I am relieved that a little bit more is done.
When I feel the urge to indulge a bit more on sweet treats, I remember to add some extra veggies at my next meal. And every day, I remember to drink water and take a walk while listening to an audiobook. It is all about creating a balance within me.
When things outside of my little circle seem out of control, like during this pandemic, I remind myself to control what I can and let go of the rest.
When things fill me with joy, I remind myself to pause and really feel it. I take time to reflect on joys in my life that are connected. Like hearing that a friend’s baby was born on my birthday—I felt sadness slip away and my holes fill up with thoughts of holding a newborn baby. Even though I cannot rock in a chair with one right now, I can think about all the babies that I have held in my life. I laugh at myself because sometimes when waiting in line, I sway back and forth, even though my last newborn baby was in my arms 16 years ago.
When things are slow this holiday, I plan to fill the time with sorting pictures and putting them into the albums that I bought 12 years ago and never got around to fill. The last time I attempted this was for my son’s high school graduation party in 2008, and after making the board celebrating his life to that point, I neglected to continue; they sit in boxes and not books. Now, in the digital age, I love making collages of adventures that we have taken over the years, but seldom do it. Every time I am somewhere with friends, I take lots of pics so I can create a collage, print it and give it to them. But I haven’t been able to follow through.
However, now I can embrace my holey time and work on my photo projects. In the New Year, I can send some pics and collages to others, which may fill some of their holes. Then, next year, when we can all get together again, I will finally be able to share my albums, which will remind me how I filled my #2020HolidayHoles with memories.
Nancy Roop, https://www.developmentaltexts.com/post/holiday-holes, December 20, 2020.
This season is different for everyone. Please share, or copy & paste in social media so we can remember to remind ourselves the things we already know. Then in Comments in mine and yours, write what you plan to do to fill your holes this holiday season.
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--Nancy Roop is a Discovery Toys Play Advisor and publisher at Developmental Texts LLC. After nearly a decade supporting students with autism, she earned a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Oakland University where she developed a new book format for neurodiverse kids. The series, Alex & Jordan Explores is in development.