Advent – Catch Up 2!

The end of the semester needed concentrated attention from me over the last few days, and I made the right-for-me decision to let posting wait until after those responsibilities had been fulfilled. I kept working on my Advent Adventure during this time so this will be a bit of a catch-up posting. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s not about getting everything Instagram-perfect-pretty; it’s about making strides (or baby steps) towards reclaiming the holiday season that I want – which is one that is marked by periods of calm reflection and gentleness. Driving myself under a self-inflicted lash is antithetical to reaching that goal.

I’m slowly working my way through the basics of the past tense in French. (Side note – did you know you can buy a share of a French castle for $55? It’s true!) I’m not quite comfortable with anything other than reading and interpreting – listening and speaking is a gamble right now – but I’m pleased that I’m taking a few minutes a day to try. The same goes for making time (even five minutes) for meditation. It really works best for me first thing in the morning – I learned that when I got all spun up with grading one day and skipped it until evening.

We spent some time this past weekend stringing lights and decorating our Christmas tree. It’s always fun to do that together and reminisce about the stories of the ornaments. Then last night, I went to a cookie exchange. Now, not done properly, these events can be downright competitive. Fortunately, I’ve found my tribe this year and store-bought Oreos (yep, those were mine) and Girl Scout cookies jostled with British Baking Show-worthy treats. We sat and talked and plotted and confessed – truly a wonderful night!

Here’s my “growth moment” – I’ve really been looking forward to spending some time making holiday cookies. Yesterday was to be the day, then life happened. I had loose ends to wrap up from the semester and a friend needed some help from me. So with one thing and another, I was faced with a choice at 3:00 – resentfully make a batch of cookies while lamenting how my day hadn’t gone the way I wanted or go to the store and swing by the bakery.

Divas, so much of living with any shred of grace is simply acknowledging that plans change. No one minded my store-bought contributions (and – for the record – Oreo Thins with Latte Creme are flat-out awesome with a cup of coffee!) and I didn’t lose my serenity. Well, not much.

Baby steps are still steps.

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