Awakening with Joy

Last week I was complaining to a friend that I was sad when I thought no one was coming to dinner Christmas Eve and even more sad that we aren’t all still gathered together for Christmas Day. And he told me, don’t worry people will come. Well people did in fact come to dinner which makes me thrilled. It is only in the last few years after my grandmother passed that the family doesn’t see each other any longer. I knew that would happen; that she was the glue holding us together. It’s always a little bittersweet on the holiday now without my grandparents’ presence. It’s like something critical is missing every holiday. I know a lot of us feel this who have had loss, especially during the holidays, but I am still struggling with this. Now, after planning and preparing to cook for Christmas Day, the Superbowl of cooking for any Italian, I got sick and couldn’t cook or go to dinner. I was stuck home alone. Ah, the Universe works in mysterious ways sometimes. All this free time not in action led me to thinking about why I am so busy all the time and how to not be.

A while ago, I was with my dear friend who told me that she wakes up each morning joyful and with a smile on her face. And I thought, WOW, I really don’t. Not that I am unhappy, but my mind fills up with all the things I need to do—even things I enjoy like meditation or seeing friends. That gets added to my already lengthy to do list. There is a quiet anxiety that starts my day because I realize, rapidly, that there is truly not enough time to get it all done. Even with the amount of time that I don’t actually ever sleep. Each day it’s like I set myself up for failure. It’s a really gradual, gentle aggression towards myself. So, I compensate, thinking, ah well on the weekend I’m totally going to catch up on all this stuff I HAVE to do. Even on a Saturday, I wake up not joyful and with a smile like my friend does, but with an action state of mind—completely prepared to attack my to do list. There is an immediate knowing that I can’t be lazy. I need to get up and get busy. And it’s an endless cycle that gets worse as I take on new commitments, even those that excite me, and I am grateful for.

I wonder when and why did I start to think I didn’t have enough time and how can I start to just let it all go, because something does need to give. It is in my state of business that I miss moments. I don’t want to be caught up in a constant state of doing instead of just being present.

Buon Natale friends!

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