My Version Of Christmas

My version of Christmas 

Last night, after much deliberation these past few weeks, I informed my girls that Christmas would not be what they have grown accustomed to over the years. Julia at the foot of my bed and Billie to the left of me as I said, all I can do this year is my best, and it has to be enough, not wanting to get into the reasons why. Truth be told, in that moment the ego in me wanted so badly to place blame, but this is a me I no longer feed and so I left it at that….. Being heart centered is such a bitch sometimes.

But the reality is, they know. They know I’ve spent the last year fighting for their mental health, a toll that has not only been emotionally challenging for me but financially as well. They know, without really knowing, that I gave up all that I’ve known in order to pave a new road forward, towards a happier and harmonious life for us all. So without so much as a blink, both girls said, no problem mom and proceeded to think of the least expensive things to ask for. Omg, as I think back on last night tears flow. The deep level of understanding, the gracious acceptance and the love that poured from both of them was truly something to witness. Damn, my girls get it……

After the girls headed off to bed, I shared with Nana  that I felt not one bit of guilt about the fact that I can’t give my girls a ton of material possessions this year. And not because I don’t want to or because I can’t, but because I know In my heart of hearts I give them something so much more valuable every single day and have for the past year. And that is the gift of a present, healthy mom who gives them her time. Gosh, they are lucky…… well in my mind anyway. They are teens soooooo they may disagree.

Seriously though, this time last year I walked away from my dream job. Helping build a company from the ground up and seeing it not only survive, but thrive. As an inner city kid who never finished 10th grade, this was the big win. Everything I’d hoped for…. Or was it? Yeah, I built a company, but did my girls have mom around? Nope they didn’t and this fact was no longer ok with me.

Leaving corporate America to pave my own way while in the midst of an expensive divorce, not exactly the most logical decision. No guaranteed income with mounting debt and a whole shit ton more to come before all was said and done. Shit, what was I thinking?!?! I am a bit out there but this is nuts.

I was thinking about my girls. I was thinking about the fact that at their ages I didn’t have a mother around. I was thinking about the fact that they had just suffered the loss of an aunt, a grandfather, a dog and watched the end of their parents’ marriage. I was thinking of the fact that they were navigating Covid, online school and a move to another state. I was thinking, fuck money, I want my kids to be ok….

And as last night proved, ok they are! It has taken a village. It has taken me learning to be humble, accept help and to redefine my self worth. It has taken me relearning how to listen and be present for my kids. It’s taken me learning that I can’t fix life for my kids but that I can hold space for them as they navigate their emotions, their sadness, their joy…. It’s taking care of me, so I can really take care of them.

So no, I don’t feel guilty about not getting my girls the latest and greatest gifts this year because I give them the greatest gift all year round. And that’s the gift of time, acceptance and love. And truth be told, I wouldn’t want it any other way. At least this year.

I also don’t feel guilty for not going out and spending money I don’t have on gifts for friends and family. I believe that my heart speaks for itself. If you know me then you know I’m a call away if you need a loving ear. I give long authentic hugs and write personal cards to ppl I love on a whim. I’ll call you up randomly to go on a crazy adventure or periodically send you a loving message or guidance that you somehow need at that very moment. I’ll give of myself easily if it means touching your heart and soul for a moment. These are the gifts I can give not just this xmas but year round and I feel truly blessed and honored to do so.

If you can give the shiniest prettiest gifts to your loved ones, do so. Shit, I love me some new things! And when I can, I love giving them! But if you can’t, if spending money is not in the cards this year, then I lovingly suggest you be ok with this. Be ok with giving the gift of time, or handmade gifts or just love. Because as my daughters so eloquently reminded me last night, in the end, that’s really what matters most. Not the actual gift, but the love that’s behind it.

Love to all and remember….. We are all doing the best we can. And the best we can is enough!

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