The older I get the more precious time becomes. Every single minute holds a value far beyond what I can wrap my brain around. When I see the "100 Places You Should Visit Before You Die" and realize I've only visited 14, I feel the urge to pack my bags and get going, or I'll miss out. At the same time, I just want to sit on the back deck steps and watch the sparrows flying in to the bird feeder. I'm completely in love with the idea of slowing down, just standing still, and taking in all that is right here around me. This back and forth pull gets tiresome. I am, however, noticing I'm leaning far more in the direction of slowing down, and I'm finding I'm truly very happy right where I am.
And now December is upon us, a month of hustle, bustle, and generally overdoing everything. Several years ago, I decided I didn't want to be a part of the holiday madness any longer. No big decorating (much to Lovely Beautiful Daughter's dismay, though I'll let her do as much as she wants to do), no tons of presents (just one "I really, really, really want this" for each of us), and no going out for anything Christmas Eve or Christmas day (which meant no more going to Mass). I've not once regretted making these changes. If anything, we've been able to focus more on family and being together because we're not distracted by the season's madness.
This past week, I watched some family and friends get caught up in the Thanksgiving madness, and when it was all done, a couple were so stressed out they could barely function. I feel sad for these individuals. I hope they find peace. A part of me, too, wonders why they allow themselves to feel like they have to put on a show, go the route of "keeping up with the Jones'." We all have the choice to say, "No. I am not going to allow societal pressures to make me feel inadequate." If others don't like us taking a stand against the pressure, that's their problem. That time spent worrying and obsessing over what others will think if the turkey isn't perfect or if the house isn't Martha Stewart approved is time lost, time that can never, ever be gotten back.
I spent my week working in my shop, cleaning up my fruit garden, and building a greenhouse. With Hubby's help, I was able to create a few new items for the next arts/crafts show I'll be attending in a week. Then, after reading up on pruning grapevines, I went to work on my two vines and got them squared away. And yesterday, with the temps in the 50's, I built a greenhouse to see if I can get some lettuce to grow. It's mostly an experiment, just to see if I can actually get something to grow through the winter, so we'll see what happens. I poked my head inside the greenhouse this morning, and because the temps are again in the 50's, inside the greenhouse was toasty warm.
So here's to December. May the last month of the year bring much joy, laughter, and maybe even some lettuce.