Posts Tagged ‘manage’

Sometimes I feel like it’s my job to manage everything.

I manage the schedule.  I manage the grocery list.  I manage the laundry and the closets and the hangers and the buttons.  I manage the boots and the mittens and the hats and the scarves.  I manage washing the hair and cutting the nails and fixing all the ouches that come our way.  I manage the who’s and the why’s and the what if’s and the so what’s and the who did what to whom’s.

And somehow, on top of all of this, I have to somehow manage not to go crazy.

This time of year, with all of the added things that need to happen, I feel like my list of things to manage just keeps on growing and growing and growing.  Except I’ve started to realize that I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to managing because I’ve started to manage things that aren’t any of my business.  I try to stick my nose into things that have nothing to do with me, and in between people who have a relationship completely separate from me.  And then, for some reason, I am surprised when it doesn’t go well.

I’ve also realized that I try to manage memories.  I try to manufacture and create situations which I think will make good memories.  I take my kids to see Santa when really, they have no interest in going.  However, I think it’s something we should do because it’s something they should have a memory of.  I make ten dozen cookies so I can cross that off the list of things we’re supposed to do before the holidays, even though my kids would actually be happier if I just bought the cookies at the store and took those four hours and spent them sitting on the couch with them.

I’m also realizing that I have no control over which memories are really going to stick with my kids.  When I think back on the holidays from my childhood, I’m sure the things I remember aren’t necessarily the things my mother would expect, or necessarily want me to remember.  But they are what they are, and they are the things that have stuck with me through the years.

So this year, leading up to the holidays I made a conscious effort to try to step back and let some of it go; to take my hands out of every piece of what was going on, and instead to try and stand back and watch.

And you know what?

It’s worked out pretty well.

We didn’t go see Santa this year, instead just relying on the letters we wrote to let him know what we were wishing for under the tree.  Did I miss out on having the picture for the album?  Sure, maybe a little, but I didn’t miss the two hours of standing in line waiting to get it.

We baked some cookies, but only a few, and once we got tired of it, we stopped.  And later that night I told the kids to put on their jackets and boots on top of their pj’s and we hopped in the car for a spontaneous tour of the Christmas lights in our area, stopping first to pick up some hot chocolate from a drive-through on our way.  If I would have spent my afternoon baking all of the cookies I thought I was supposed to bake, and managing the memory I thought my kids should have, I would have been to tired for the light tour.  And I would have missed out on hearing my son say, from the back seat of the van, “Mom, this is the best day ever.”

This year there were some pretty great gifts under the tree but I think the best one was the gift I gave myself.  The gift of realizing memories can’t be managed, and sometimes you just have to sit back and let them happen all by themselves.

I hope all of you are having a holiday season filled with your own amazing memories.

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