It happened again. I tried, I really did try to make sure it didn’t, but it happened again. Another Christmas and New Year season happened and I was overwhelmed with events and activities. I thought if I contracted the cooking – which usually takes a lot of time – I would be fine and finally get to enjoy the season without the stress, but it still felt like there was a lot to do, and I think I missed a moment …
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying our weekly articles so far. There’s only so many ways we can encourage each other to grasp the New Year with renewed vigour; you’ve heard the messages on setting goals and being intentional over and over again, but I’ll say it one more time in a slightly different way – Take a moment.
The Christmas / New year season is usually one of the highlights of the year for many people. In most homes, the joy of having food everywhere in abundance, and getting to treat yourself to all the things you wouldn’t normally indulge in, with family and friends all around is just amazing. As children we definitely looked forward to presents and food, and playing with our cousins and friends who had come around to celebrate with us. As grownups, there is the added pressure of giving the children the time of their lives, and trying to out-do last years presents. I realized early this year, that in the midst of all the cooking and preparations, I forgot to take a moment to just enjoy the time. There was always one more item to do, or one more text to send, or one more takeaway bowl to fill… all very necessary things to do by the way, and very urgent (we didn’t need the fried rice to go off at all!) … but in the long run, not very important.
A few days ago, one of my children said, “Mummy, remember how we drew the seahorse, and painted it, and you cut it out, and we played with it?” I nodded in response. “Can we do that again please?” This seahorse business took place in early lockdown days and that was what this child was remembering. Not all the presents received over birthdays and Christmas, but time spent doodling and playing with Mummy. I can’t do that every day, but I have made a mental note to at least try to do it more than once a year.
There’s a saying “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning does not always have to involve a new diary and the specific pen (Yes, I did that many times), or the elaborate 5 paged manifesto the Company has laid out. Personal plans just need to be deliberate and achievable. Recognise opportunities and don’t hold back. Don’t let the wrong voices in your head cheat you out of attaining greatness. I’ve decided to be intentional about spending more play time with my children this year, and from now on (so help me God). For me, that requires that I plan half-term activities way ahead of time, and save money towards my plans if necessary. It also means that I should not take up any extra work during the specified period, so that I can enjoy the moment with them, and not just create the moment for them.
Sometimes in the busyness of life, we forget to slow down and savour the moment. In January, we tend to look at the year as a whole instead of 12 months or 52 weeks, or 365 days, so take a moment and break it down. As each weekend comes, take a moment to look back, rest a bit and look forward. As the gateway to each new month comes in view, Take a moment. Were there certain things you set out to achieve specifically? Did you achieve them? And what comes next? If you are able to get away often to do this, by all means go for it! But if you don’t have the luxury of that kind of time yet, then use your toilet breaks or shower moments – honestly!
Just take a moment to appreciate you and what God has achieved through you today. And let me tell you now, YOU’RE DOING GREAT! Happy New Year once again and keep journeying with us this year!
In my moment