Monday, December 19, 2011

'Twas the week before Christmas

The week before Christmas is a funny thing. For some people, it's about the hustle and bustle: shopping, wrapping, bow-tying presents. The last minute errands. For others, it's about finishing up big projects at work or finally throwing that big party they've been preparing for. For some, it's about getting in the holiday spirit: holiday movies, decorating the tree, baking cookies, warming up next to a fireplace. For some, it's just your average week.

Whether we like it or not, though, we give a lot of ourselves during this time. Some of us wish we could give more, wish we could be in two places at once, wish we could be better to others, or (here's an unfathomable one) be better to ourselves. Let's just say, expectations are high. Amid the craziness that is the holidays, I might do something different this year. Something like slowing down, taking a step back and acknowledging the little things.

Slowing down scares me because it means I actually have to feel (ack, feelings! scary!). Seriously, though, room must be made for feeling. Like clearing out some space in the closet in the Springtime, the holidays could not be a better time to carve out some personal space to get in touch with where we're at emotionally. The little things are lost otherwise. The little things are just another day...passing us by. With open space, things stay close, things remain, like...

This temple of Redwoods, watching over me.

This burst of another season in Mill Valley.

This perfectly clear day in the Headlands, the ocean and the lagoon almost touching.

This perfect lunch with my besties at Outerlands, grilled cheeses and potato garlic soup!

This open window letting the sun shine in on the succulents.

These colorful books... the General Store.

This almost-new year.

This cozy-as-ever dessert at Frances, the Lumberjack Cake. I know it sounds crazy, but with eyes open and patient, I think I enjoyed each bite differently than I would have before. Maybe there's something to this slowing-down thing.

Any tips for handling the craziness of the week before Christmastime?


  1. oh, dear. I so needed this sweet post right now! I've got no suggestions, but I'm trying to slow down, enjoy, give up what doesn't matter, and more. Does that count?

  2. I love the idea of "giving up what doesn't matter" and yes, it SO counts. Does solstice yoga count as a slowing down activity?? Hope so!! XOXO

  3. My new years resolution might be to have more fun.. Tired of my daily: do more, do more, accomplish more mind state... You know?

  4. sissy, this is my mantra going into this week. slow down, take it in and enjoy every bite. love this.

  5. Do you read Zen Habits? Recently a post was dedicated to getting rid of goals and letting the moment and your mindful presence guide your actions, thoughts, and feelings. I had to think long and hard about banishing goals, and maybe because it was so hard to do that means it's a sign I should do it-still trying...

  6. these are such inspiring photos and words, sweet meggie. i am definitely in chill mode, putting together my goals and thoughts. now i just need a holiday cocktail in my hand. : ) love you. xo

  7. This post is chock full of inspiring photos and thoughts. I love it. I am trying to get pleasure from the little things, such as wrapping a present and baking cookies. These are the sweet moments of the season that can keep us grounded. Can't wait to see you on Thursday!

  8. Spending every pre-holiday second with your favorites cannot be beat. I want to frame this post for 2012 inspiration. Love yoU!

  9. I've just discovered your blog in the Christmas lull - and what a beautiful lull, even though Christmas is celebrated where I live in two weeks' time. May you have a very merry Christmas!
    It was the second paragraph of this post that spurred me to comment, because I think you have captured part of the essence of the holidays so well. I love insightful comments like that, because I think that if one is trying to live a fulfilling life, one cannot have enough reminders about how to get the best perspective - on the bigger picture, and oneself, as one is. Thank you for this memorable post, and I look forward to reading your blog into the new year!
    Wishing you all the best, Greta