In 2 days, my in-laws will be coming to visit. Probably like most of you, when I have guests coming to stay who I haven't seen in at least a year, this means that there is a long list of things to do to prepare the house for their visit: things to clean, linens to put on beds, that sort of thing. Because my regular to-do list has been exceedling long lately, I decided that instead of waiting until the night before they arrive to do all my preparations, I would do a little bit each day leading up to their arrival, intermixed among all my other obligations and deadlines.
This is, quite possibly, the best idea I've had in a long time. It's been lovely to take a break from writing to take the linens out of the dryer, smell their clean scent as I spread the sheets on the guest room bed, and then returning back to my work. I left a little early to pick Alex up from school, so I could stop and pick up some fresh gerberas on the way. While I was at the grocery store picking up a few staples last week, I picked up some scented candles to put in the rooms where they'll be sleeping.
Now, I suspect that I won't get everything that I'd hoped to get accomplished finished by the time they arrive -- I can think of a few things (like Christmas shopping for everyone in England!) that I know I'm not going to be able to get to before they come. But still, by not waiting until the last minute to at least start preparing for their visit, it's afforded me a little bit of mindfulness about each act: if I'd waited until the day they arrived, I frankly might not have considered flowers or candles. Doing a little each day has allowed me to daydream a bit: think about the looks on their faces when they see their son, happy and healthy; not to mention Marcus' getting to have a little bit of his family and his homeland around him again. And, of course, it'll be great to have our usual, weirdly Trini-English-American Thanksgiving with extended family at home.
So, I suppose that's my public service announcement for Love Thursday today: as we start nearing the holiday season, rather than freak out about everything that needs to be done (because, I admit, it's terrifying when you think about it in toto), simply add one or two easy things to accomplish on your daily to do list. Need to buy milk? Grab a packet of cranberries to throw into the freezer, so you have them at hand when you're ready to cook a holiday dinner. Going to the pharmacy? Pass by the holiday aisle on the way out to grab some string lights. And then once you've done your one easy thing for the day for the holidays (or the day gets away from you and you don't get around to do it), don't sweat it, and don't think about what else you need to do until you make your to-do list tomorrow.
In other words, take it easy on yourself. Take it slow. Slow works: little chores may actually start feeling like small acts of love.
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Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Please leave your stories or links to your images or words of love in the comments below.
And breathe. You're doing great.
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