A Holiday of Deep Desires
by Anna Lovind
It’s a time of wish lists. The kids write long and meticulous lists covering everything from hamsters to happiness. I try my hand at it too, encouraged by the children, but my lists tend to be very short these days.
I don’t want that much anymore. There is plenty of pretty stuff I wouldn’t mind owning. Plenty of stuff I wouldn’t mind doing. But I don’t mind NOT doing them either. I don’t mind doing without.
There’s a certain kind of relief in wanting something and letting it be. Just letting the desire pass. That restless itch. The fear of missing out. Just letting it be.
It’s not about denying myself, not at all. It’s about not going for the empty calories. Not letting the shallow desires distract me from what I truly want.
Because if the desire fades, I know it was a shallow one. And when the shallow ones are out of the way I can feel what I truly want. The simplest things, nowadays.
Love, obviously. Nothing compares to chubby little arms around my neck. But apart from that? A notebook and a good pen. A cup of tea. A fire in the fireplace and the view of a knotty old tree moving in the wind. A moment of solitude on a decent cafe.
Things like that. It’s what I truly want. All that this wondrous world have to offer, and I keep returning to the same picture of happiness: A cup of tea. Pen in hand.
So often we just run after whatever catches our attention in the moment. Like little dogs, barking and panting, we chase after the stick, over and over again.
This particular month we run all over the place, tempted by the pictures in a shiny magazine: the beautiful home glimmering with holiday joy. The happy kids with sparkles in their eyes.
It’s a sweet dream, but since we look for it in places where it can’t be found, no matter how deep into our wallets we dig, it so easily turns into a pain.
Maybe we could let the desire for a perfect Christmas be, as well. Maybe we could let it pass, and when all the noise has settled, we could open our eyes and see what Christmas is about when we’re not caught up in MORE. My guess is that it will be a lot more peaceful than the version glimmering in our fantasies.
It doesn’t have to be that complicated. Really.
A few hyacinths and oranges for the glorious scent. The Christmas tree. Some good food (make it a potluck) and a few sweet gifts. Time spent together.
That’s all. That’s what we usually manage in my house. And then we sink into the long darkness of Nordic mid-winter nights, black and velvety and deeply restful. We light a fire inside, and some fairy lights in the crab-apples outside—if we get around to it.
A good enough Christmas. That’s what I want this year.
Anna Lovind is a writer, editor and mentor of hungry women. Her work revolves around women’s creative freedom and the power of their voices and stories. She writes about this in her upcoming book The Creative Doer and in her teacher program Write Your Self. Connect with Anna and learn more about her at her website.