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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.

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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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Mindful Mama Carnival -- Becoming Crunchy and TouchstoneZ Visit The Mindful Mama Homepage to find out how you can participate in the next Mindful Mama Carnival!

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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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16 Responses to Can a collection of moments be more than the whole?
  1. Veronica @ Mixed Gems
    December 13, 2011 | 3:26 pm

    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

    • mum in search
      December 15, 2011 | 11:28 pm

      Being control? I hadn’t seen the situation in this light, I thought I was more going-with-the-flow kind of person. I’ll have to think about this – is it a control issue and what I should do about it. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Vicky
    December 13, 2011 | 3:27 pm

    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
    x
    Vicky recently posted..Adrift

  3. Dad Blog Tork
    December 13, 2011 | 9:43 pm

    Christmas is coming… ARGH!!! ;-)
    Dad Blog Tork recently posted..Why Don’t You Like Dad Blogs But Love Mum Blogs?

  4. Luschka
    December 14, 2011 | 2:13 am

    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

  5. Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction
    December 14, 2011 | 5:20 am

    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

  6. Kristy @PampersandPinot
    December 14, 2011 | 7:43 am

    Wow, what a collection of mindful posts! That’s amazing. I hope you are able to enjoy those moments as they happen. I totally get it about feeling depleted when having spent too much time around people.
    Kristy @PampersandPinot recently posted..Meet Me on Monday

  7. Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling
    December 14, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    Such a good post! It is often hard to capture those moments of joy when there can be a lot of disruption and noise, but this post is a good reminder to try! And to breathe….

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  8. kirri
    December 14, 2011 | 2:12 pm

    You have some beautiful holiday moments to treasure don’t you? I’m quietly smiling that after a huge christmas and holiday time last year…this year is going to be much more chill. I love to hang out but the introvert gets a little peaked at the thought of a week or more of it :)
    kirri recently posted..How to keep pursuing what you want when life sucks.

  9. MaMammalia
    December 14, 2011 | 4:20 pm

    I can really relate to this. I think you’ve really nailed it by pointing out that our perception of the whole can destroy our ability to enjoy individual moments. I sometimes wig out about Xmas, but each year after it’s come and gone, I realize it wasn’t so bad. My negative thoughts surrounding it were much worse! I’m going to take your lead and try to take each moment as it comes. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I tried to leave a comment earlier but I was interrupted by a non-napping toddler (my life these days). Sorry if this is a duplicate!
    MaMammalia recently posted..A Light in the Darkness

  10. Lauren @ Hobo Mama
    December 14, 2011 | 9:26 pm

    Brilliant, and something I also will think about and try. I have the same problem with tasks like this — I said tasks and then laughed, because I mean family visits, parties with new friends, all those introvert-unfriendly burdens that are also joys. I hope your visit goes well this year and that the small, beautiful moments are what bring you through.
    Lauren @ Hobo Mama recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Pirates, monkeys, and hobo babies

  11. Carrie @ Hazardous Design
    December 15, 2011 | 1:34 pm

    So insightful, Tat! I spend a week with my in-laws every year and wind up feeling the same way you describe. I’ll have to reconsider your post and remind myself not to “write off a week of my life”.
    Carrie @ Hazardous Design recently posted..A Butler’s Bliss

  12. Free Range Mama
    December 15, 2011 | 5:47 pm

    A very honest post. I feel the same when spending a lot of time with my inlaws. Thanks for the insight. Christmas is coming… :) Hope you can focus on the happy moments throughout it all.

  13. Terri Babin
    December 18, 2011 | 3:58 pm

    What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing!

    ~Terri Babin
    @EcoCrazyMom
    Terri Babin recently posted..Introducing Fluff Bling- The HOTTEST New Cloth Diaper Accessory!

  14. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ
    December 18, 2011 | 6:10 pm

    Thank you for participating in the Mindful Mama Carnival.

    This post is an inspiring messages about mindfulness. It realy is in our hands to decide how we will engage with every moment, isn’t it? It’s easy to fall into perfection even when we’re striving for family or personal time. Relaxing and letting it go, while still remaining present in the moment can change it.

    I hope you will write a follow up post that speaks about how your week was (please let me know, if you plan to ;)

    • mum in search
      December 19, 2011 | 9:46 am

      Thanks for your comment, Zoie! we are coming back early next year. Will let you know once the post is up. I really hope I manage to retain my mindfulness!

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Hi, I'm Tat. I believe that through motherhood we're given another chance to find ourselves, grow and shine. I have three beautiful children and I learn a lot from them every day. This year I'm searching for ease in everything I do.More about me and my blog »