Here we are again at the pointy end of another year! 2019 has been a big year for so many people in my life – for yours too, I imagine.
There have been births and deaths, break ups and breakdowns, celebrations and massive moments. Kinda like any other year really, although this one did seem to go faster than usual (if that is even possible!).
I find December a crazy month, I have for many years. It feels like the world speeds up even more and there is a low-level hum of busyness, stress, and continuous rushing around. The shopping centre – a microcosm of life – intrigues me as it overflows with Christmas rage and high-level UN-merriness. People honking their horn and gesticulating out their car window as ‘their’ parking bay gets snaffled up by someone most undeserving. Twenty cars circling the carpark like great white sharks looking for food on a day when there isn’t much around. Bare shelves at the supermarket as people shop as if they’re entering a nuclear war and may never get to buy groceries again.
It’s frenzied, frantic, and it’s manic!!! And depending on what you believe, you may even wonder what beings from other worlds think when they observe us at Christmas time. I sometimes do, and I reckon they would be chuckling to themselves and saying something like “those crazy humans down under – just look at them! It’s December and they’re all going batshit crazy again! They do this every year!”
So, this year I have decided to take the presents thing to the next level. Well, more accurately, I have decided to take the presence thing to the next level. The one feature that’s often missing during my December is my own – and other people’s – presence. Sure, most of us are attending Christmas parties, family functions, and social gatherings, but unfortunately we’re too busy taking pics to post on Instagram or flying around the party having brief chats with people just so we can say hi to everyone. Quite frankly, I think it’s time we slowed down and became present to who and what is actually in front of us!
What if all the events and catch ups you went to, you went to with full presence? If you focussed your attention on who you were talking to, how good the Christmas cake tastes, and how pretty the surroundings are, for example?
I know I certainly get sucked into the schedule of where I need to be and when: “Right, I’ll spend an hour at this gathering, then I’ll dash over to Jenny’s birthday drinks, and after that I’ll race over to Greg’s Christmas party before it gets too late”.
Am I really enjoying where I am and who I’m with, and spending proper quality time with people? Honestly, no I’m not.
Am I truly connecting and learning about someone else? Or am I just going through the same old trivial chit chat whilst in my mind planning the route from where I am now to the next event? Honestly, for me it’s often the latter.
It is any surprise that the month of December and all it encompasses feels like a bit of a chore every year? Honestly, it is no surprise at all!
So this year I am trying a new tack, and that is to give every single person I’m conversing with some Christmas presence. If I only speak to half the people and go to half the places – but I do it with full presence – then I will feel as though I’ve nailed the 2019 festive period.
Wishing you all a safe and merry Christmas period and if I happen to see you, I look forward to giving you some of my Christmas presence.