I keep sitting down to write about late December and finding myself talking about letting go. Not about letting go of Henry or sadness or even the actual stuff that he used (or didn't), not about that kind of letting go that I struggle with so much. This month has been about letting of my lists and expectations.
I let go of getting all the Christmas stuff out. The tree, Henry's tree, the stockings, wreaths on the doors. A red and green mat with a candle and some greens on the table. Enough.
I let go of baking Christmas cookies (and made just the chocolate orange cookies I love and kept them for myself).
I let go of sending out Christmas cards and with it the struggle for both the "perfect" picture and a way to include Henry that felt right to me.
I let go of the idea (dream) of fixing up my old dollhouse for Kathleen for Christmas. Instead I latched on to her sudden and unexpected idea of having a toy toaster. Whenever people ask her if she had a good Christmas, she (unless she is taking a turn at being shy), says, "I got a toaster!" And I smile.
My jams and pickles are still sitting on the futon in my office, sticky notes designating where they are going. They still need to be packed and mailed or wrapped and delivered. I've doled out a few as I've seen people, but I let go of getting them all out in time for Christmas.
I'm not usually good at this, this letting of of to-do lists and trying to do far too much. Even when I try, I do so grudgingly and keep looking at all the things I want to be able to do. This year, like the year when I was pregnant with Henry and so tired, I really let go of all these things and took joy in tossing my undone list in the recycling. Some of that thinking and talking about prioritizing over the summer must have sunk in.
One more holiday celebration (and I am remembering the final project I wanted to do, that maybe I can pull off tonight, or maybe I'll decide to let go of . . . hmm, it would make a good birthday gift for my dad. Yep, just crossed that off the list) and then we settle in for winter. I'm looking forward to the slow down that seems like it should come after the bustle of the holidays, because they are busy, even when you let go and toss out your lists.