On Do-Overs and Imperfect Holidays

I’ll just be honest and say it; today was not a good day. Normally my Poppins-self would be all about ‘any day that you’re alive is a good day!’ and ‘every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day!’ and platitudes such as that, and tomorrow I’m sure I’ll be right back in that mindset, but today…today I just need to give myself over to the dark side.

It was a perfect storm, actually; we woke up to nasty, windy, cold, wet weather- and there’s a full moon (always makes things crazier, I kid you not). I went into the office super early to get some things done so that we could run errands and take care of holiday preparations. This involved trips to Lowe’s, the pet store, and Costco in awful holiday traffic, putting us on edge.

Dan was crabby, and as a huge empath, I soaked up his tension and became more and more quiet. Now, I can count on less than two hands the number of times my husband has been crabby in the over fifteen years we’ve been together, so it is a rare occurrence (unlike his wife who gets stressed out and grumpy a little more frequently). Dan finally said that everything was irritating him today- I understood, as I could feel the static in the air (caused by the full moon, I swear…Alabama gets extra nuts).

We didn’t realize until we’d arrived at Costco that we’d forgotten a big annual Costco reward coupon (for the second time) that expires in just a few days. Then there was the holiday crush of people, zombified by Christmas shopping, the cold rain and strong wind as we loaded up the car and then unloaded it again at home. It was like that the rest of the day- little things that normally we’d laugh about, but with them hitting us like relentless love bugs on a Florida highway today, we were both just over it.

When we got home from Dan’s yoga class this evening (medicinal, for sure), I jumped into making more holiday cookies, finishing up past what should have been bedtime. Trying to put them away too soon in my haste to get to bed, I messed up every single one of the Hershey’s Kisses drop cookies that were for our party tomorrow night. At that point, I resigned myself to the cursed day and went to bed. I told Dan we needed a do-over for this day. I meant it.

Now I am lying in bed with Marley snoring between me and an already sleeping Dan, Sophie against my leg, Shiva coming and going (I swear the full moon makes her even more mental, too). We have to get up at 5am to get ready for Dan’s Saturday yoga class at the Y before coming home to cook and clean for our party. Our bed is cozy and warm, and I’m grateful for my little family and a chance for us to try again tomorrow. When we came to bed we kissed each other and vowed that tomorrow would be better.

I think it’s important to write about the not-so-good days along with the wonderful and easy days. I always try to share honestly here and on Facebook. To me it is comforting to know that we’re not alone- we all have bad days and good days, that no one is perfect, no matter how much they try to airbrush their social media presence. I proudly post photos with bad hair and no make-up and my house disheveled. I share my embarrassing moments along with my joys and successes. Life is wonderfully real and messy, the way it should be, and I hope by sharing it all that someone out there may be encouraged in some small way.

Here’s the thing, though- I have an absolutely wonderful and amazing life, and (blessedly) neither I nor it are perfect. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have the “perfect” movie-ready holiday season and life, but that’s not reality. I don’t want perfection, no matter how much my strong perfectionist tendencies may try otherwise. Those ‘bad’ days are there to keep us from becoming complacent and taking our blessings for granted, and so I am grateful for them, too. And, in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “After all, tomorrow is another day!”

4 thoughts on “On Do-Overs and Imperfect Holidays

  1. It’s hard to be human, isn’t it? Our minds and bodies can be so sensitive , and we’re part of a species that seems bound up in unsustainable, harsh, and rather dysfunctional practices and systems . And simultaneously, we have the grace of mindfulness and compassion that can help us see, oh, yes, this is tough, and this is what I am experiencing right now.

  2. I have a “horrible, rotten, no good day” every once in awhile too. They seem to be coming more frequently but I’m focused on the light at the end of the tunnel (retirement). I’m going to start a count down on Jan 1!!! BTW – the cookies taste just as good whether they have perfectly placed kisses or ones that are slightly of kilter or squashed…

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