Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Adding Quiet

Where that chair is in the photo, there is now a Christmas tree. I got up earlier than I preferred on Sunday morning to go more than an hour by Tube and bus to get the IKEA Christmas tree deal - buy a tree for £25, and get a £20 voucher to spend in January. I really couldn't resist, as I've got more than £20 worth of things on my "to buy at IKEA" list. I thought this might not work out, because the kids have wanted to go to get the tree as a family in the past, but this year they didn't mind if they didn't come along. I think that the past two years of getting the tree at the Marks & Spencer food hall has left them with a pervasive sense of boredom when it comes to Christmas tree acquisition.

This was more than fine with me. I was happy to go on my own to get the tree. It feels lately like there is a lot to do with a whole lot of people, and that leaves me feeling utterly unsettled. I need time to myself to feel okay. One might argue - and be right! - that queueing for a Christmas tree at IKEA isn't exactly time to myself, but at least it was time that I didn't have to be keeping track of anyone else or negotiating which tree to get. I got the one that I could bring home most easily on public transit; that was my only priority. And for a few moments on the trip to and fro, I sat quietly on my own.

I am trying to find more of these moments for myself. Part of my quest to get the Christmas tree was to get that necessary item checked off the list, to have very little left to do before the holiday itself. There is a lot of pressure to be doing things at Christmastime, but I am working on making this time of year quieter, not just for myself, but for us as a family. We've got another week in which there are some activities, but after that, I am planning nothing. I am stocking up on tea and baked goods. I have ordered some books. There are a few activities we always do over the Christmas holidays, and we will do those things, but I am adding nothing new. Instead, I am adding quiet. Or at least, I am trying.

I will let you know how it goes.

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