Waiting for the Light

christmas mantel; christmas lights; vintage ornaments; silver.png

The tree fell over today. There were ornament casualties. My boys slammed the door to the living room, “You don’t want to go in there,” half kidding, but completely serious, said Jordan. I heard the vacuum running and the tinkle of ornaments as they righted the tree. They emerged with damp towels (I assume from cleaning up water), closing the door again behind them. 

I still haven’t ventured in for a look.  Jordan told me only a few broke.  He offered to show me the trash can evidence.  “Don’t show me.  I won’t miss what’s gone if I don’t know.”  And that’s the truth of it in a nutshell. I had planned to do a “Waiting For The Light “ series this season.  All deep and beautiful with nods to the quiet moments, filled with candlelight and breathless wonder of the season. Instead, I found myself throwing frozen chicken strips in the oven and microwaving frozen corn for dinner.  My husband, “I see you punted.”  He is frequently amused by calling me out on my perfectionist tendencies, and he only rubs the salt in the wound more because, I mean, who doesn’t love fried chicken?  Indeed, completely unphased by the topled tree, he sat down quite happy to microwaved dinner and crispy processed goodness. 

The truth is that no one in my family cares what the tree looks like, except for me.  This makes me grateful and angry at the same time. My family can teach me a lot about being thankful. They’re just happy to sit down to a hot dinner. And the truth is that part of my own soul’s need is to give that to them. 

Let’s set aside the whole, “I am woman hear me roar” thing. I’m already that, and my family knows it.  My greatest desire is to show up for them. Each day, as best as I can. I consider frozen dinner a failure, and they don’t- they just want me.  I guess the “waiting for the light” lesson for today is to rest into what the darkness is saying: slow down.  I still haven’t slowed down yet. Today, I was forced into slowness by Perdue and Green Giant.   

When we assign our own value of self-worth to our accomplishments (or lack thereof) we set ourselves up for failure. It’s doubly hard when you make a living selling the home decor version of perfection.  I’ve got news: it doesn’t exist.  You can have the best of the best and still lack the greatest needs of your heart. And this is why I am truly thankful for a warm home that can hold me right now; a family that doesn’t care about decorations or frozen dinners; and extra candles in the drawer.  We need homes that help us live- through the times of imperfection- which is pretty much, always. 

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Monique Becker