In the Blur
Is it blurry where you are, too? It is a little bit here. I don't know if it's because of how fast everything is moving or because of some old tears in our eyes; it was a hard month. Everyone is just fine; of course we are. But, kicking off the holiday season by burying a beloved family member takes a toll. You've gotta pay it somehow. We're all a little off, a little behind, a little out of it. We are just feeling all of life acutely - that it goes so quickly, that you can be here today and gone tomorrow, that someday these kids won't be twirling around our tree as we put it up, that we still have believers in magic, which feels like hope and love all swirled into one right now.
It's all stuff we all know. But we live and we forget. And then we learn it again. And then we forget it again.
We were in this ridiculous sweet spot of having all of our parents - all of our kids' grandparents - riding right along with us, and, honestly, we didn't even know it was a sweet spot. We were lucky and dumb - what a wonderful combo. Once the dam broke, we got to see what so many others have seen all along. It doesn't last forever! Ahhh!
It's different over here, at least for now. We're more aware, more grateful, more purposeful, more connected. We are in a new sweet spot, I suppose - one in which we are more present to our people and more purposeful in our connections.
All of this feeling and the perspective it offers will probably dissipate soon enough; emotions like this always seem to, so that we remember and forget life's biggest lessons with regularity. Because then we can mess up again and again. Isn't it grand?
The beautiful and horrible thing about it all is that we never stay in one place for too long. We just keep moving; even when we are sure we are standing completely still, we are moving, hopefully with the knowledge we've gained, but honestly I am just not sure we are all not a bunch of Dorys, the fish from Nemo who forgets more than she remembers. It's ok - we do keep swimming at least.
The blur, then, is probably just life, really. Enjoyable and rushed, sad and slow, perfect and on point. All of it.
The blur's cool, though. I like it, really. It's messy and different and weird. It makes us feel. It makes me keep pictures that I might have deleted because they help me remember that it really is moving very fast, that life really is a swirl of emotions - the good and the bad, that everything is not distinct and separate but connected and smushed together, that things aren't perfect and yet they are still very, very good, that beauty comes in messes, in imperfect pictures, in focusing on whatever it is you've got in front of you, even if it's unfocused for someone else.
These kids, man, they already know all of it. Really they do. They are tiny and rude whiners at times and then they are perfect little Buddhas wandering around connecting, adjusting, loving, suffering, letting go - way faster than any of us adults are able.
They are the magic for us this season. I'm about to go to both of the olders' parties today - one in the morning, one in the afternoon - and I would make every single one of you feel so together when it comes to your Christmas shopping. It is not my forte, partly because of who I am and partly because my kids' Christmas lists consist of things that I cannot buy: another sister named Anna Blue (desired by my daughter), another brother for my son (we have no plans for another anyone), a cat named Lucy and a cat named Eli (nope), and then some other random things, like an El train ticket, which I'll get, and a gecko costume, which does not exist. So I have to get creative over here, which, if you've been reading for any length of time, you'll know is not my strong suit... or any suit at all.
But they won't really care! Once it all gets going and they have something to open and food that is special (our food is our thing because duh - I'm their mom) and their people all around, they'll all be happy enough. Enough is enough, even if you think you need more, more, more. Plenty of people the world over survive and thrive with enough. Also, with less. So let's remember more is not always better. In fact, plenty of people with less have more in other departments that we are sorely lacking in, so, really, more is sometimes less. I'm not just saying this because I'm a pathetic shopper. I know this is true; I see this truth, especially when I see us encourage our kids to open the next present even though they just want to stay on the present (pun intended) they just opened. They are good. Let's not mess them up anymore than we already have.
We keep expectations low around here on the getting things aspect; this works two-fold for us: for one, they are in the greatest state of wondrous delight because they can't ever imagine that I could get my shit together enough to pull anything like surprise presents under a tree off - they know me. And then, secondly, we focus on doing things together instead of buying things for one, which means we, as parents, get to have a little fun with them instead of just watching when the toy doesn't quite work like it said it would. We all know that the best stuff in life isn’t stuff at all, and that relationships and experiences are the keys to a happy life.
We'll be trying our best to focus on those parts over here. And just to let it be blurry when it is and to live focused enough in the blur.
If your eyes are teary and your soul a little worn, I'm sorry. You'll get through somehow; mostly by looking for help along the way. It really is all around - little bits of love, little signs of light and life. Even in the blur. Especially there.