Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Words of wisdom

"Those trappings that make you feel guilty, let go of them."

This morning I sat down to a short meditation before everyone else got up at the usual crack of dawn. I was particularly looking for guidance on how to deal with our current shortfall of income and how to cope with it more gracefully since it is likely to snowball with rent being late and looming energy costs at hand. After all, I've been a rather miserable person to be around lately and then miserable for being miserable and feeling guilty about it, lol. So the above quote is what came to me this morning during meditation. It makes a lot of sense and gives me some solace. This holiday season does present itself with many trappings on all sorts of levels, doesn't it? It is easy to forget that we live in one corner of the world and that many other places do not celebrate Christmas at all. In fact, we have been lighting our candles for Hanukah and remembering that even Jewish people do not celebrate why get caught up in all the bad feelings? Of course it is much easier to succumb to the guilt with kids. It is as if you have a big red guilty button already in place just waiting to be pushed.

So I started thinking about these "trappings" that are keeping me in a rotten mood. I'm beginning to see how this is all unfolding. I had a certain image or plan in my head for how my old fashioned Christmas was going to look like. It seemed awfully simple to me but there were nevertheless certain requirements such as having a Christmas tree in the house by now, being able to buy some real dishes so we could have a holiday meal on something other than plastic camp dishes, and being able to do lots of crafty Christmas projects as well as baking. These seem like a far cry from an over commercialized holiday but I didn't consider the fact that they still require considerable amounts of money, lol. It all seems so simple in Little House on the Prairie but I guess it is easy to forget that they didn't have to pay rent or energy costs. They didn't have to buy a tree. They just went out and chopped one down. They grew most of their own food as well. Yeah, it's a bummer sometimes still being tied into this dependency on utility companies, grocery stores, and landlords. The kicker is that we can't just go claim our land for free like they did back then and well, I don't have the cash to buy a nice parcel of land....soooo....dependency on modern times it is. Acceptance is key. We can't obviously go back in time or make things happen that aren't possible, can we?

So I like the idea of focusing on the trappings. They didn't seem much like trappings before in my simple old fashioned Christmas fantasy but when you put modern society into perspective compared to how things were back then, even a simple holiday isn't quite so simple anymore.

So today I will focus on not worrying about when we can actually buy a tree, whether I can get all those baked goods made and sent out in time as I had planned, whether or not we can make all of these beautiful waldorf inspired Christmas decorations for our nature table and home, not paying attention to all of the extraordinary sales from my favorite online companies flooding my inbox that I still can't take advantage of, and accepting the fact that those nice gift cards for discounts from said companies will indeed expire before I can actually use them. Whew. Just getting those things off my back helps. It isn't the end of the world. My kids won't be deprived as long as we have food in the house....oh, that reminds me of the last one too...not feeling like the worst mom in the world because I have to buy the cheapest canned foods instead of fresh organic foods and forego those multivitamins for awhile. Seriously. These seem like such horrible parenting offenses but if we can keep a global perspective and realize how many people in the world over don't have access to such luxuries, we can calm our minds a little and have compassion.

I had high hopes of warm fuzzy feelings about this holiday season and it stinks that it hasn't turned out that way so far but I realize that perhaps I have far more important lessons to learn this year so that I can carve out something more meaningful next time around. At least I can look at it this way. Last time this year I was living somewhere with constant sirens, neighbors yelling obscenities with each other on a regular basis, and a view of nothing but house after house sandwiched together. This year I've got panoramic mountain views I can enjoy from my built in outdoor fire pit with no sidewalks, no sirens, and no crime. It isn't all bad.


annapurna said...

I have a funny 4-foot pink Christmas tree (I only use fake ones so I don't kill anything). It can be spray painted any color and you are most welcome to have it. I could leave it for you at the Hanuman Temple if you come into town...

Little House On The Mesa said...

Anna, I love pink trees, lol! Your message is also quite coincidental because I've been thinking about visiting the temple. Send me an email at if you don't mind.

Cas said...

I was feeling low this morning about all the things we didn't have/couldnt do....then I had to snap myself out of it just like in your last paragraph! A warm house, dirty dishes=some food to eat(even if it is peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches) and good health to name a few of things to be greatful for. Thinking of these things slowly let me turn from grumpy to a smile....but it is a daily reminder to myself.