Updated: Dec 13, 2018
Dec 12, 2018
‘Within your limits’ doesn’t always apply to spending.
What about over-talking? Not letting your listeners get a word in edge wise. Gossiping. Or overeating. It’s the turkey we are suppose to stuff. Or happy hour. Turning it into an unexpected blurr fest. And yes of course, overspending. Waking up Boxing Day to no thrill of the-look-on-her-face — which has a much shorter shelf life than 24% interest my head always convinced my heart would be worth it.
It’s the feel-good I was after. Eventually, I got it that my emotions are here to help me not lead me. Like a well-run engine with all its parts in check so the whole system can function better. Not like a hybrid vehicle running on one or the other. A car can’t run on just the cooling system. Or even on the lion’s share of the cooling system.
One Christmas I decided to live within my means, ‘just to see what would happen’. How I’d feel. And it was odd not to be part of the retail Olympics. I thought I needed to go shopping to ‘get in the spirit.’ Little did I know how it led me straight into the wrong spirit – indecision, anxiety, haste, envy.
Surprisingly I found joy from NOT doing the things I usually did. I had a deep knowing of doing right; it mentally released me to fully engage in all the other activities. I was fully present in each conversation and every party, free from the burdens I'd pile on myself.
Yes, I gave cards (words — I’ve always liked words and thought they were the best gift of all) and also small tokens. But I can honestly say, I ‘enjoyed’ ALL the holidays — before, during and after — without the exhaustion. And that January, I actually had looked forward to the mail and any stray cards.
But like all good things I push the envelope. If one is good, two are better. The next years I sharpened my Scrooge, consuming myself with ‘staying within my limits’. Which meant once again meant self pre-occupation, contrary to the whole theme of the season. Where was that ‘deep knowing?’ My, how far the pendulum swings.
But each year I tried again. One year I made door stops, masking off zig-zags and dots on scrap triangles of wood. I stained them and attached a tag with each calling them an ‘Aztec Door Stop: Open The Door of Your Soul And Let The Light Flood In’. Some got it. Some didn’t. The starving artist thing.
And twenty plus years later, I’m still doing it. And I believe I’m starting to get it. Genuine demonstrations of love that may or may not come from Canadian Tire. Gifts that fit in a hearse. Gifts we all have to give. Our time. Our intimacy. Our patience. Our peace.
And it all started with self-control. I’m giving you some self-control this year. Hmmmm.
I wonder what isle that would be in at Wallmart?