Dec 22, 2015 · 4 minute read
I need to take my own advice.
My big brother helpfully pointed that out when he suggested I read this blog post after receiving a somewhat whiny e-mail from me saying I had run out of time and ideas and couldn’t possibly do what we had all agreed on for my parents’ Christmas gift.
The reason I “ran out of time” was I had scheduled a trip to Yosemite National Park for the weekend before Christmas.
I mean, it’s not like I’m not in a total rush every year the weekend before Christmas. That’s when that final panic grips me, and in a cold sweat I remember that I have less than seven days to buy and wrap and bake everything I’m going to buy and wrap and bake on top of working full-time. It’s when I start listening to Christmas music full blast and as fast as I can, determined to wring every last ounce of joy from the holiday season as I rush around and stress out.
Surprise! This weekend before Christmas was the exact same. Except this time I was in a place with spotty cell coverage and limited wifi on the very last day that I could order something and have it arrive in time for the holiday.
Did I mention that I’m an awesome planner? Yeah, super-great. Totally.
I should have said no when my friend asked me in October if my daughter and I wanted to go on this weekend. I had a vague inkling at the time that that’s what I should have done, but I couldn’t really pinpoint why, so I said yes. My daughter really wanted to go since we hadn’t been there in over a year.
So I went, and here’s what that meant for me:
I didn’t get to put together the gift for my parents. My brother did it, and it came out way better than I could’ve done it, so it was a blessing, but still. I hate to pawn off work.
I didn’t pick up my rug from drycleaners. Small thing, but it is so. damn. difficult. to get to that cleaners! So now I have nothing to tie the room together. Heh.
I spent waaaaaaay too much money. Sure, it’s the wilderness, but we were in the little camp village in a cabin. Food, lodging and gas add up.
I didn’t get to spend time working on a writing assignment that I need to finish, or to start the one I’m supposed to be working on. Now I have to find more time during the mornings and evenings and weekends that has already been accounted for.
However, it wasn’t all bad. Far from it. I mean, I got to spend the weekend in Yosemite. Here’s what else that meant for me:
I got to play in the snow with my daughter. We’re in the middle of a big ol’ drought here, and snow has been hard to come by the last couple of years, so this was a special treat. My daughter still loves building snowmen, throwing snowballs and making snow angels, and I do too.
I enjoyed time with friends. Catching up, chatting, playing board games, hanging out by the fire … it’s a great way to spend time with good friends, and that’s what we did.
I relaxed. Once I resigned myself to going, I had fun and relaxed. Being out of cell service meant I couldn’t do much except concentrate on the people I was with and what I was doing. It forced me to be present, which is what we all need once in a while.
I got to see Yosemite. Dude. Have you seen Yosemite? Everywhere you look, it’s a perfect picture. The place is majestic and rugged and inspiring and overwhelming in its beauty. If you can, go there. This, perhaps, is the best advice I have to give anyone.
So yes, I’m way more behind now, and you’re right, I should have said no. But I went, and I got to spend time with my daughter and friends in a beautiful place.
Life is all about making memories, and in the end, this was a pretty good one.
Enjoy your holiday, and I hope you get a chance to relax with the people you love.