I have two gifts to you this holiday season- one material and one zen-karma-new-age-ish type gift that you will appreciate especially if you are a new sleep deprived mama and I understand you might just roll your eyes, but too bad, I’m still going to ‘give’ it.
Gift #1: Orange Tree Imports
Do you live in Madison? If you do, you should head to Orange Tree Imports this weekend (located on Monroe Street) and enter to win a $100 gift card, and tell them you came in because of me. Seriously. Then I might win a $100 gift card. And if I get enough comments on this post (let’s shoot for 10 from 10 different people), then I will give away my gift card. That means 2 chances to win $100 to spend at Orange Tree. Merry Christmas.
Gift #2: There is no happy ending.
That’s my gift to you.
What the heck am I talking about?
So, I went to a body flow class at the gym (think yoga meets pilates meets tai chi meets a better workout than you would think) and we ended in a meditation. The instructor begun by saying “There is no happy ending.”
I have to admit I was taken back. Of course I wanted a happy ending! Didn’t I deserve it? Why was I working so hard if not for a happy ending?
See, I was focusing on the ‘happy’ part instead of the ‘ending’ part, and once I shifted that, I got it. I have to let go of reaching an ending, specifically an ending that will be idealized.
Think about it, we are all working towards something: getting the holiday cards out, losing the last few pounds of baby weight, Christmas shopping. We set up these little goals and we think we will just be happy when we accomplish them. We get them done and move on to the next goal and we will be happy when we finish THAT goal. We keep doing this over and over. So, what’s the problem? We never to get to the happy part, we just start working towards the next thing. It doesn’t end. And when we do get to the benchmark events, let’s say Christmas Day, a lot of times it doesn’t meet our expectations of the idealized movie ending we had in our head.
Before you think I am one of those super annoying zen people that drive the rest of us nuts, let me show you how untrue that is.
I have really been looking forward to Baby G eating solids. So I had issues breast feeding, let me take that back, my body had issues. I was lacking the necessary equipment (aka milk glands) and was unable to exclusively breastfeed. At the time, it was probably the most devastating thing I have ever gone through.
Here I am the clean-eater and I had to give my daughter factory-made formula. Humbling to say the least.
I shifted my focus to solid foods. I was going to kick butt on solid foods. I read a bunch of cookbooks, did all of this research. At 5 months, I started making purees and freezing them. Man, I was totally going to make up for the formula!
We started solids a few weeks ago. I was super excited, Manatee was excited. Baby G, well, that’s the problem.
My daughter has no interest whatsoever in eating.
It’s not that she’s picky. Right now, she just has something better to do. Let’s take a look at a recent feeding session.
We have tried purees to no success so the doctor suggested eggs that were soft enough for her to gum. Maybe it was a texture thing.
Straps are so much more fun than eggs.
And yes, she did tear that bib off before grabbing the strap. Like it would distract me or something. And notice how she is reaching back to grab the strap. Does she think I won’t see her?
Once I got her away from the straps, she found her feet.
And just keep looking at this string of pictures over and over and over, and you get the picture about her eating sessions, or maybe I should say her lack-of-eating sessions.
At first, I worried. Maybe we don’t eat enough in front of her. Maybe she’s picky and I am not giving her the right foods. Maybe I am doing something so wrong that I don’t even know what it is, but it’s making my daughter not want to eat.
I mean, the girl puts everything else in her mouth until we give her food.
Then I went to that class and realized that I had made her eating solids as my happy ending to my breastfeeding woes. I have finally let it go. She can’t eat formula when she is going to kindergarten. At some point, we will take it away and she will have to eat. Until then, we will just keep trying and laughing because really it’s funny. She’s funny. And someday when she eats like a regular human being, it will be even more funny.
My gift to you: let go of the happy ending of Christmas and make it happy along the way. Let go of your happy ending expectations, let go of the stress of finding the perfect gift, let go of anticipating that excited look on his face when he opens his gift, let go of trying to make the perfect holiday meal or cookie or cake, just let go. We spend too much of life waiting and not enough enjoying. Don’t wait for the ending to be happy.
Tell me your favorite part of the holiday season. Remember if we get 10 comments, I will give away that card (if I win it).