Hiiiiiiiii there! It’s been a while, no? If you’ve been reading this blog for the past 6 years, you’ll know that I disappear for a week at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s my family time. I use the time to recharge and rest. When you work for yourself, it’s really easy to be a horrible boss and never give yourself any days off. So, I took a full week off, and I loved every minute of it.
Our family flew in from 4 different states to gather and celebrate Camille’s first Thanksgiving. We rented a house in wine country and spent every hour together and ate every meal together. That, my friends, is what family time is all about. I’m so grateful to my husband for having the idea to rent a big house so everyone could stay together instead of playing trolley cars between hotels.
Even though the shower situation can get a bit strange for 10+ people all under the same roof, we made it work and spent almost every waking moment together. (Including the first night where Camille refused to sleep and stayed up from 10-2am. She has never ever been the kid to wake up in the middle of the night wide-awake, but the day before I’m set to cook Thanksgiving dinner, the babe wanted to have a slumber party on the couch with me. With footed flannel pajamas for both of us and a glass of wine for one of us, we watched HGTV until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. Then, I whisked her away to bed with me and we slept for 4 hours in the world’s most perfect snuggle-hold before the rest of the family got up. Ok, this is the longest paragraph inside parentheses ever.)
The next day (Turkey Day), I was glad my Dad purchased most of Thanksgiving dinner from Whole Foods the day before. You see, I wasn’t going to tell you that 80% of my Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t homemade. Especially when I did an entire series on A Small Thanksgiving.
Let me back up: I rolled my eyes in October when my Dad came up with the idea to buy most of the dinner pre-made. However, I soon found out that it was the best plan ever and I’m so dang grateful he did that. Life with a new baby and running your own business has a way of keeping you always on the brink of utter exhaustion. Cooking a big meal for so many people after 4 hours of sleep (not to mention the sleeplessness that had accumulated from day 1 since coming home from the hospital with our bundle of joy) would have definitely pushed me off the cliff.
If we ever meet in person, you should know that I always refuse all offers of help. I won’t let anyone take my groceries to my car, even though I have a squirmy, fussy baby. I will open doors for myself–even when my hands are full. I have this way of widening my eyes and nodding enthusiastically to assure you that I don’t need any help. That is my MOA, and it always has been. You can only do that for so long when life hands you too much.
But, I’m going to stop it. I’m going to quit it big time. I’m going to accept help.
Just the other day, it was pouring rain while I was grocery shopping. I had Camille with me but no umbrella. The grocery store clerk asked if I needed help. I said no, of course. He insisted. He walked us to my car under a giant umbrella, and he even loaded my car with groceries while I strapped Camille into her car seat. It was the nicest thing ever, and I almost cried tears of joy. From here on out, I’m accepting help.
Can we please stop trying to do it all and take a rest this season? There are seasons of your life when you are meant to give it your all, day-in and day-out. There is a time for growth. Hard work, much of it up-hill, will be definitely be required of you at times. But none of it is worth it without periods of rest. And help. And self-forgiveness. And letting-it-slide-ness. Ok, I made that last one up. But, this season, I’m going to rest more. I’m going to accept help and give help more often. I’m going to forgive myself for only having the time and energy to clean my house once a month. And I’m going to let it slide that I haven’t plugged in my computer for 93 days to back it up. And that I haven’t started Christmas shopping. Or made our Christmas cards. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Rest, rest, rest. And be joyful.
Can I help you get the comforting flavors of lasagna on your table in a fraction of the time and without leftovers for days? Oh yeah I can! If you remember my White Lasagna in a Skillet, you’ll be happy to see the red sauce version here.