This time of year is hard.
Logistically. I’m not talking about emotional weight or loneliness or anything like that. The sheer act of survival in the holiday months is a lot.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore holidays. I love them with my whole heart and soul and will forever do every holiday event I can do. I’ve decorated 6 trees in my house. My yard is lit up like that of a lesser Griswold relative. We do holidays around here, and we go hard. I will hold onto anything that brings magic into the world.
The thing is, it always coincides with an increased load at work because everyone is preparing to be off. There are a thousand kid obligations (THAT I WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN!). There are family things and cards and photos and busy stores and busy streets and even if you choose to opt-out of the obligations, you sense the shift in the force.
This is obviously why I decided to choose Dec. 1st to launch a new business.
Here’s the thing: I love every single thing I’m doing. I love taking my kids to Christmas tree lightings and the zoo and decorating. I love my work and my writing and building communities. I love my animals and my house and my life I love all of it. And in any one moment, immersed in one thing, I don’t feel overwhelmed.
But today, I looked around my house. I threw away a ton of produce I forgot to use because we ordered out one too many times this week. I looked at the laundry that has been sitting at the bottom of the stairs for over a week, waiting to be put away. I looked at the suitcase that has been sitting there for two weeks, untouched, full of everything I brought on my last trip. The dishes were not done. Kid clutter was sucking all of the air out of the room and I lost it.
I put the baby down for a nap, sent the 4-year-old to his room for quiet time, and just rage cleaned. And it’s still a mess. I don’t even know if I did anything beyond moving things around because I’m overwhelmed.
I’m really good at telling other people to give themselves grace. I’ve done so many things that mean so much more than a clean kitchen does. I know that. I understand that. There is a moment, though, where I’ve done a thousand things, but the one thing I ignored just stares me in the face and reminds me that I do not, in fact, have it together.
I guess we never have it together, though. Do we really? I’m working on adjusting my expectation of what failure is. If I filed all of my LLC paperwork, slayed at work, and did puzzles with my kid for two hours but we ordered pizza… not a failure.
I guess my solution today was to take a breath. I needed to use the hour of quiet I managed to steal and put all of my chaotic frustrations onto a page. And if I get my kitchen clean and make dinner, awesome.
If not, we all like pizza.
About the Writer: Allie Gravitt is a mom of 3 and lives in metro Atlanta with a house full of animals and plants. Her debut poetry collection, prisonbreaks, and second collection Killing Ghosts are available now on Amazon. Follow Allie’s writing journey on TikTok and Instagram.