I can tell the holiday season is almost here by how much busier my life has become in recent weeks. It's like a wind up to the fever pitch of social obligations that are soon to come. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the holiday season and being around so many people I care about. It is one of my favorite times of the year! But as an adult, I have also come to recognize the inherent stress of the holiday season too. There is the stress of scheduling where you will be on any given day and with whom; there is the stress of managing finances when you want to be extravagant; there is the stress of maintaining focus on other goals you were moving towards already.
As soon as Halloween weekend hit two weeks ago, the flurry of events began. My husband and I always do something with friends on that weekend, a tradition going back to one of our first dates. This year we went to the Texas Renaissance Festival on Halloween weekend, and had a blast as usual. We always go at least twice a year to the Festival, in part because we met there and in part because we enjoy it that much! Last weekend two of our friends were married, with events going on all weekend. Also incredibly fun. I danced so much I ached for the next few days afterwards - and regret nothing.
This weekend I have two baby showers to attend (for someone else), my parents are stopping through town on a whim, and my husband just told me last night about some BBQ at his parents' house too. It's going to be awesome, but holy moly am I glad that I have today off of work to actually rest and prepare!
Then there is the concert I'm playing in on Tuesday night, a wedding shower for one of my husband's cousins next weekend, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving weekend out at the Renaissance Festival again...and the month of December is a zoo, always. A delightful zoo, but a zoo nonetheless.
All of this to say that while I had this great epiphany a few weeks back about the status of education, and a possible way out of the quagmire...I have had precious little time to rest and reflect on these thoughts since then. I want to, I really do...but I also would not trade my joyous memories from the last two weeks in order to have that reflective time.
And I suppose that is my deep thought of the day - that while goals and reflections and solutions to big problems are great things, that we balance those with simple happy times with people we love, doing things we love to do together. I have a goal to lose weight, but I wouldn't trade a beautiful evening over an indulgent dinner with my husband or family & friends in order to lose another pound. I have a dream of reforming the education system for the 21st century, but I wouldn't trade weekends of lovely family memories in order to make it happen a few days, a few weeks, or even a few years earlier. We only live once, and we should make it count AND we should enjoy it. Sometimes these things collide, and you get to solve the world's problems or your own problems at the same time as enjoying time with loved ones, and sometimes you choose between the two. That's okay. I'm lucky that my family and friends are very supportive of the goals I have in my life, even if they rarely take an active part. They have their own goals, after all.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and finds their way to enjoying every bit of the coming holiday season - Enjoy the ride!