When I signed up to host the #LinkYourLife Community Roundup right before Christmas, I had no idea how much I would need it. What started out as a selfless act to help my friends and tell more people how amazing I think they are has morphed into a selfish act.
This past month has been emotionally and physically fraught. The results of the United States election were completely not what I was expecting and I have spent weeks trying to calmly convey that I am not upset because my guy (okay, lady) lost. This is not just a case of sour grapes. I am distressed because someone who spoke about many of my friends and allies as though they were the enemy. I am distressed because someone spoke about women in the most degrading way possible is our commander-in-chief elect. I am distressed because others who I love and respect decided that these inflammatory actions did not matter to them. And yet, I still love them.
I may still be coming to terms with the whole thing.
In addition to this, our little family has been experiencing some pretty significant health problems. Without getting into it too much, dealing with health problems – physical and mental – can be very challenging.
With all of this, it is my pleasure to introduce the first post in this roundup.
Shawna, who makes her virtual home at The Honeyed Quill, has written a beautiful piece about self-care during this holiday season. While self-care is crucially important, during this season it is particularly important. As an introvert, Shawna’s reminder “that holidays and gatherings are about connection, not production” is so important. If you are too tired to connect, step back and take care of yourself first.
Thomas, who encourages us all to #ShareInspireConquer, reminds us all with some powerful poetry that “it all starts with a spark” and that truth, any truth, “is found within the light.” This made me think of The Hobbit when Gandalf says to Galadriel (not an exact quote here) that it is the small, everyday acts of kindness that keep the darkness at bay.
I was a first-time visitor to Jsack’s Mom’s and all I could think while reading her Monday Musings was “Where have you been all my life!?” The changing Christmas traditions, the family member with food texture issues, and the realization that self-care (even if that means not traveling) really rang true to my own life. Also, am I the only one that thinks the couch appearing in their Christmas tree picture looks pretty dang comfortable?
Our gal, D. Parker over at Very Me has me rethinking all of my Christmas giving so far. The Roaring 20’s are the cat’s pajamas when it comes to gift giving! I am also very appreciative of her attempts to try, which seem to greatly mirror my own attempts. Yoda didn’t have a clue what he was talking about in this case. There is plenty of trying in between the “doing” and “doing not.”
Urszula Humienik, makes it super easy for us to put our money where our mouths are and direct our holiday giving toward making a positive difference in this world of ours. Whether you want to support change internationally or domestically, she has some really incredible suggestions.
Charli, who “lives” over on the Carrot Ranch, and has a fantastic collection of short stories called “What’s in a name?“. I was reading these out loud to E and A and read “Naming a thing gives it life!” “Life, what that mean?” E demanded to know.
Last, but certainly not least, is Elaine Mansfield. Elaine writes about dealing with grief at various stages. I love her ability to make it seem completely normal and dignified to have your grief coexist with a variety of other happy emotions. Her Solstice post is no exception. I find it to be fitting that as I was reading this post with my girls E said “Captain, I’m sad. No presents, cookies, or songs right now.” Although this sadness is different from what Elaine experiences, this post was a great way to talk about E’s sadness and how we will have presents, cookies, and songs too in just a little while.
Whether you’re celebrating the Emperor’s Birthday, Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah, St. Stephan’s Day, Boxing Day, Synaxis of the Mother of God, Day of the Innocents, New Moon, Rizal Day, New Year’s Eve, St. Sylvester’s Day, none of these, or all of these, I hope you have a fabulous end to 2016 (maybe ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb’ applies here?).