Listening to My Heart


woman relaxingBlack Friday has arrived, and I am sitting at home.  It’s 6:30 a.m. This is the first year in decades that I haven’t been out shopping for several hours by now.

Normally, I love the rush. Oh, not the crowds and the pushing and shoving, but the adrenaline rush I feel when I, yes ME, I get the good buy. I snatch the very last one of whatever it is that is a most amazing buy or a rare treasure.

My husband snickered when I said I wasn’t going shopping on Black Friday this year. “Yeah, sure.” After all, this is new behavior for me!  But I just couldn’t find any desire to go this year.

Reason #1 – My daughter is in Texas for the holiday. She and I usually shop together on Black Friday. By this time, we’ve usually snagged some awesome deals and have driven through Chick-Fil-A with our coupon and capitalized on the buy one, get one free chicken biscuit deal and grabbed 2 cups of coffee to refuel ourselves for the next leg of the day.

But beyond that reason, I am just finding myself in a new stage of life – again. I feel differently about the holiday season this year. I almost feel an inner protest, but yet I suppose that’s not exactly the right description.

I am longing for the deeply meaningful.

I am re-evaluating my holiday season. I put my tree up a couple of weeks ago since I had a big family gathering last weekend (14 of us). I hung the stockings, but I stopped short of the mega-decoration blitz that I so often do. Oh, I am not being Scrooge, trust me, but I just didn’t feel the same need as usual.

For one thing, it’s just exhausting to pull off “mega-Christmas”.  Beyond all the decorating, is the eventual un-decorating.

I’ve informed my children (2 of which are grown and married) that this year may just be different. I am thinking of CHANGING. Gasp!  I have hinted to them that I am not feeling like accepting any requests from them, no wish lists. Now, I can feel your Scrooge suspicions rising again, but it’s really not that at all. I am having this strange desire to go pick my kids out something that I want to give them. I think I know them fairly well and I have a desire to SURPRISE them. My 15 year-old just laughed and said, “Well, just keep the receipt, Mom. I’m just saying.”

Oh,  I don’t want my own personal process to put a damper on my kids’ Christmas, but I am longing for our holiday to go to a new level of meaningfulness.  We’ve had great holidays, but I want something more this year.

I find myself in a new stage of life. I am just about to finish a new college degree and will be exploring new fields of employment – my literal mid-life crisisJ I have my first grandbaby who is bringing me such deep joy. When she smiles at me, my heart melts. My mother, who is 84, is struggling with health and memory issues. When I watch her struggle with confusion, my heart breaks. So it truly is a new season for me, again.

I am even questioning some of my normal Christmas parties, and I do throw a good one if I say so myself. It’s just that my calendar gets too full, and I don’t want to live in hyper-busyness anymore.

Since we had already hosted our big family Thanksgiving event and my two children who are still living at home were gone hunting, I spent yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, resting. I didn’t get out of my PJ’s all day. I didn’t make the bed or do laundry or dishes.  I gave myself a day of care, which is something I haven’t been very good at in the past. But I am CHANGING.  I took a long soaking bath with the scents of Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint rising from the water. I read an entire book, The Gift by Richard Paul Evans, which by the way, was wonderful.  I watched two movies with my hubby. I looked past all the work which needed to be done in my house and just rested. It was wonderful. I actually plan on continuing much of the same for the next two days.

I am observing a new slogan I’ve learned, Just for Today. Next year, I will probably be back at the mall at 4 a.m. on Black Friday but for this year, I am resting and refueling. I am resisting the rush and chaos, and I am listening to my heart. 

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  1. Tonya Simmons says:

    I understand fully! I have this feeling inside…totally different than any other year. I did go out yesterday but I waited until my kids woke up and took them with me. We just had a leisurely time looking at stuff/buying, then we all went to Olive Garden for a wonderful family lunch together. We watched the football game and a Christmas movie.I think now that my kids are older,Christmas has drastically changed.Like you, I may go out early on black Friday next year but there was no push inside to go this year.I think the key word for the 2010 holidays is RELAX….just enjoy what’s important. I know you have a new grandbaby to enjoy. This will bring a whole new level to family Christmases ahead. Have a blessed peaceful holiday Mikki. Love you and your family!

  2. diana says:

    How wonderful! The library had a book for the holiday that i picked up for myself “Child of Light, Walking thru Advent” and the first week is COME-
    but what Beth A Richardson is getting at is not come out to play, but rather to Come to Jesus in this time and see HIM – that means we have to make time for HIM in a way that is not so busy.
    Im glad, it looks like Im not alone in this- yes! 2010 — Christmas Re-lax-
    bless u

  3. Ginger says:

    I think it’s great that you are following His lead here. Who knows what He has ahead for you this season. Don’t miss that still, small voice. I hate it when I do that.

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