The art of staying in


Yesterday, we stayed in.

All day. The whole day.

I didn’t even shower until 1 p.m., which is . . . well, it’s unusual, friends. Because since Spence and I married, thus blending our schedules, I’ve been forced to become a morning person. He gets up at 6 a.m., I get up at 6 a.m., you know?

(Well, “get up” is a relative term. I give him an ugly look before ramming a pillow over my face, then eventually rise to see him off to work. And then I pour my sorry self into the shower, so on and so forth.)

But Sunday was a lazy day. The weather outside was truly frightful, as they say, and I planned — planned, I say! — to make no plans. I got up early, plunked down to watch the Food Network, worked on a slew of crochet projects that have come in before Christmas. I made a real breakfast. I drank coffee in a ceramic mug.

I put my feet up. And I stayed there.

In the afternoon, we wrapped presents. Spencer worked. We cleared some space on the DVR, emptied the sink of its many dishes, read, cleaned, admired the tree. We burned a Christmas candle for 12 hours, watching the flame sink deeper until the evergreen wax. And we actually smelled the evergreen.

It was glorious.

I often think about the speed of life — how quickly it moves, especially at this time of year. We look forward to Christmas all year long, then find ourselves consumed by the many things on our to-do lists when we would really like to just soak up the atmosphere.

And I’m the schedule-keeper. Spontaneity is my enemy. I like to plan my time to maximize fun, if you will, which can often . . . suck the fun out of everything.

That’s a lesson long in the making.

After the chaos of wedding-planning, I vowed to focus on what truly matters this holiday — and to get many of our “must-dos,” like shopping, done as early as possible. I’m not a Christmas Eve shopper, zooming around the mall in a state of utter panic. That makes me feel like I’m going to have an anxiety attack. I like to get done early, loaf around, wrap stuff.

I try to find some real peace. To stay in the moment, and to learn to be still.

And I’m proud of myself. Really proud of myself. This year has running over with changes: both the big, sparkly, obvious ones and the tiny, personal shifts. The ones you can’t see at a glance.

Less flashy, but no less important.