I rocked my Christmas production. While Mark was out of the country on business in mid December, I scheduled all the Christmas activities on my two daycare days, at night, and on the weekends. In fact, by working more proactively this year, I event coordinated both Christmas and Thankgiving like a pro. And when it was over, when the pause between Christmas and New Year’s came, I awaited the twitchy tell-tale signs of my spastic over-doing nature to pull me off the couch.
From my therapist, I learned that in childhood, when a child doesn’ t get the support or acceptance they deserve and need, he/she adopts a coping strategy. Seems mine is called Industrious/Over-focused. I discovered all of this after I had asked her why it was that there never seemed to be an end point to my work. What I did was never enough. She said, if I continue to expect my efforts to be met with disapproval, I’ve created a habit of just not stopping. Makes sense.
It’s tough to override the auto-pilot coping mechanisms. Especially when you are stressed out. I began to really think hard about how now I am the parent in my life. That I don’t have to be disapproving of my efforts. In fact, I’d say mostly these days, I’m OK with most of my efforts. So it really is about me being mindful and kind enough, trusting myself enough to just have a seat, relax, and feel worthy. That can be hard work for the Energizer Bunny here but I did find myself choosing to not cook every single night and I chose to sit and relax and write by the fire once or twice. I enjoyed a movie with my family multiple nights over the holiday. And I let myself art a little to boot. I listened and I heard myself own my needs. That’s huge.
Days passed that I didn’t have anything big to do. And I awaited that twitchy feeling of disapproval to arrive. And it never did. Of course the laundry piled up and today was a four-loader. But that’s to be expected every once in a while. It bore no ill reflection on my worth or the value of my soul’s loveability.
I’m satisfied with everything I did this holiday season. From having no bows on my presents and coordinating the wrapping paper to the recipient, I ended up enjoying a few glasses of good cheer in my lovely little happily decorated home. Because I have bigger fish to fry this year and need none of that to distract me from my focus on my purpose and happiness and values I’ve come to understand are things I’m entitled to have.
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I love reading about your life journey. You have a very wise therapist. It is clear he or she is succeeding in getting you in touch with how lovable you are. This is the best gift you can give your kids.
p.s. bows on Christmas presents? I thought everybody now used those expensive bags which I hoard and reuse.
Thank you Mala for that acknowledgement. Funny story about those gift bags. Yes I recycle them and this year Mark cracked open a Hog Neck gift card from three years ago from when his father was still alive. He said he thinks he should put it on a lanyard and put it on his Dad’s gravestone. I liked that idea.
Don’t you just love figuring out “good enough”? It’s so much happier than never done. So glad you had your best version of the holidays, or at least one you’re happy with. Yay you!
Oh I know you know what I am talking about Karen . Thank you!