I enjoy walking my quaint little neighborhood every evening with my wife and dog, Lucy. We use our dog walks as an excuse to enter our neighborhood and take it all in. One night in October, he first appeared, a plastic Santa with a jack-o-lantern for a head. My wife and I discussed between us if it was a commentary on our society rushing through the holidays or if someone was just rather lazy.
Nonetheless, it got me thinking. Not just Halloween Santa, but the Kroger who had snowmen in September, the Christmas decorations at our local mall, and the overabundance of Christmas supplies everywhere. I, like many of you, am really sick of this, but that is not what this post is about.
I think many of us struggle with living a life, where we check one thing off the list and then we feel relaxed, for about five minutes. We want to accomplish this invisible list of tasks that we believe, for a moment, are finite. We think at some point, we will arrive. We will finish.
This will never happen.
My to do list, will keep growing, ever expanding.
I learned this best as an elementary teacher. If I wanted to (and I was a single, lifeless, hermit), I could spend hours upon hours working away at my school, making the perfect lessons and keeping my room tidier than anyone else. I could line all of my lesson plans, homework, and activities for a year in advance. People could sing my praises and talk about all the wonderful things I have done. I would be teacher of the year and I could park in a fancy parking spot.
I did not choose that path. I chose relationships, I choose people. I am only in the career I am in, because I love people. I love people and I do the required amount of tasks to keep relationships healthy. I focus on people. People, people, people, before tasks. I love seeing the change that happens in people when you engage them in meaningful relationships.
No task has ever made me feel the way a person can.
So back to the holiday rush to just get on with it. I hope that it will stop, but it most assuredly will not. The stores are ran by taskmasters that have taken over our shopping centers. Don’t let them take over your life, remember people, take time for people, and get to those decorations, gifts, and other traditions as you have time. People matter more than appearances.
By the way, if you are dealing with holiday overload already, check out this article.