Can a collection of moments be more than the whole?

Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season

This post was written for inclusion in the Mindful Mama Carnival hosted by Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ. This month our participants have shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Every year, just after Christmas, we go away for a week with my husband’s family  (and by family I mean parents, brothers, their families and anyone else who happens to be around). One week, one house full of people. An introvert’s worst nightmare.

Usually I just write the week off as something that has to be done for the family. But this year I don’t want to write off a whole week of my life. I want it to be different.

I was trying to put together a plan which revolved around getting some time on my own. But while it would help, instinctively I knew that this wasn’t the answer. At least not the whole answer. Then what could the missing part be?

I thought back to all the family holidays over the last few years. There were some wonderful moments there. I swam across a lake on my own and it was scary and thrilling at the same time. I watched my son play with sticks while I was holding my daughter close to my heart for her nap. We ran on the beach. We fed birds. We laughed. And still, by the end of the holiday I’d feel like a wreck and I’d be driving my husband crazy. Was I letting my perception of the whole overshadow my joy of the individual moments?

What if I  take the moments one by one as they come this year? If by the end of the holiday I end up with a collection of moments that will warm my heart, will it matter that other moments were a struggle?

I’ll have to try it. And to make it work I need practice. My collection starts now.

View from the holiday house


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  1. says

    This is lovely, Tat. The times I’ve resisted doing something or going somewhere, only to enjoy some or all of it. I think you’re right; you could miss the beauty of the moment by begrudging the whole. Not sure if this is you, but maybe you could bring along a few little things that allow you to be in control of small moments ofenjoyment, such as a candle of a favourite fragrance, favourite music, a book you’ve always wanted to read, just little things that give you some control at a time when you are following someone else’s agenda.
    Veronica @ Mixed Gems recently posted..Disappointed by people

  2. says

    As the clock seems to speed up as the countdown to Christmas gets closer, I start to feel more and more anxious and distressed.

    I start to feel lost in a sea of emotions – that are not usually mine.

    This morning I stopped. And made the conscious decision to just stop, and be mindful. It doesn’t have to be all chaos and despair. For every chaotic moment there are 50 amazing ones.

    So I’m consciouly trying to practice mindfullness…

    I had a conversation with my little boy (5) today. I said to him “I love you” he asked, “Why do you love me mummy?” without hesitation, I was able to reply “because you make my heart happy”

    Reading your post is for me the universe’s way of confirming that I have made a good choice. Thank you
    Vicky recently posted..Adrift

  3. says

    A lovely post. It’s funny, while I value my personal space – from family especially – the thought of a week surrounded by them is a lovely one. A week with ALL the inlaws though?? I might feel about the same as you! I love them dearly, but it’s a lot of work. I think you’re on the right track… a day at a time, holding on to the precious moments, and having the freedom to respect yourself too, and say you need some time to yourself.
    Luschka recently posted..Choice And Consequence In Conscious Mindfulness

  4. says

    I could have taken a lesson from this post a few years ago. We had what was by all accounts a wonderful holiday get-together until my mom said something horrible to me that really just ruined all of the good that we had built up in the preceeding days. That year became known as the year my mom ruined Christmas, but it didn’t have to be. That was just one moment, but we let it overshadow the good.
    Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction recently posted..Flying Through the Holidays

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