Today was the first time in more than a week that I felt I had ample space to breathe. No gathering to prepare for, no fridge to stock, no cards to write, no presents to wrap, no pile of dishes and cutlery to wash. There were chores to be done – our home needed to be tidied up, the floor needed to be vacuumed and mopped and the laundry had piled up to at least three loads. BUT today there was no need to rush as there was no other agenda other than the massage I had booked for myself in the morning. There was also nobody to meet, and as my husband has a dinner appointment, I have the evening to myself as well!
The year-end holiday season has always been fraught with emotional triggers for me because I don’t have many happy memories of the holiday season while I was growing up. Tensions always ran high at home during this time and there was the stress of going from one social engagement to the next. There was nary a silent moment to be alone, and back then, even if I did get some time alone, I did not yet know how to be in solitude with myself and God. (There was no internet or smartphones when I was growing up, so I probably spent any time I had alone reading novels or on the phone with friends!) Over the past week of almost constant meeting with people, there had been several moments when some of my emotional hot-buttons were triggered. Thankfully, my interior space has grown sufficiently for me to recognise those moments quickly and I have learned how to find myself space to cool down. Nonetheless, I knew that I needed a good chunk of alone time with my journal to fully untie those emotional knots, and I am grateful I had that time today.
The rest of the week is packed again with appointments and visits and I look forward to catching up with more family and friends whom I have not seen in a long time. But just as there can be no music without the presence of a pause, I cannot be fully present to the people I love unless I can recharge in solitude. I am grateful that I have grown in self-love, and that I have learned to rest. Today was that pause in the music, and the silence was heavenly.