It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Until it’s not.
I’m sitting here this morning, editing Christmas mini sessions. I booked almost 40 this season alone, on top of my normal sessions, and to say I’m burnt toast is a severe understatement. I’m so blessed to be busy but I’m just tired. Being a small business owner is tough. I answer all the calls, emails, texts and other related inquiries. On top of constantly promoting myself and business, I’m working the business with shoots, studio prep and clean up – constant sanitizing – it’s never ending. I’m so lucky to have the best clients in the world, and for that I’m truly thankful. They keep me motivated and wanting to do the best job possible. Without having such a positive client base, things would be a lot different.
I normally handle the craziness of my schedule without a second thought as I love being busy. I usually embrace my workaholic tendencies, but beginning in November, my nasty anxiety kicks in. My brain starts to prep itself for all the things I’ll have to worry about, weeks before they even get there. I feel like I have a big fat frozen snowball sitting on my chest as I worry about Christmas lists, expectations, and the fatigue tapping on my shoulder. How will I do it all? How will I keep it together? How can I melt this snowball so I can breathe a little better? I never have the answers to these questions and I find myself going through the motions until the snowball eventually dissipates towards the end of January.
I think the only solace I have is knowing I’m not alone. I’m not selfish enough to think other folks aren’t feeling as bad, if not worse than I am. We’ve all lost a lot – especially the last two years during the misadventures of Pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, heartache, or financial stresses – sometimes the holidays can bring out the worst in emotions and memories.
For me, It can be really difficult to focus on the positivity of the holidays. I struggle through this every year and I recognize my sourness needs to be hidden behind a thick layer of faux snow. Bitterness and a gloomy attitude can be contagious – so I do my best to keep it to myself. This year has been very hard based on the fact of silence that’s permeating my home. My two older children have begun to live proper adult lives and their absence is duly noted in this momma’s heart. I relish a noisy house with the chaos of living and loving – in a strange way, it grounds me and keeps me centered. Even our parrot has calmed his cursing and name calling, to join me in this funk.
I’m not writing this blog to be negative or whiny or to gather a flurry of, “I’m sorry sentiments.” I’m writing this mainly to let other folks know – you’re not alone. It’s ok to not be ok this time of year and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Find the big and little things which make you happy and extend yourself the same grace you’ve probably been giving everyone else. Personally, I’m going to try and find those little coconut covered vanilla ice cream snowballs, and light the cheap little candle inserted into each of the little mounds. I don’t even like vanilla ice cream but these things hit a little different this time of year and remind me of a time when Christmas sincerely brought me joy. Fellow sad friends, I’m sending you a big fat virtual hug in the hopes I can help melt that chest coating snowball just a tad.