Hunting and Gathering for the Holidays

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Tonight’s Crescent Moon in a Clear Florida Sky 

I’m thinking about the holiday season got me thinking about hunting and gathering.

From what the archeologists have pieced together from the days of the caveman, hunting and gathering was a life and death situation. The goal was to keep the clan from starving or freezing to death. I’m not sure which is worse but both sound pretty bad to me.

Hunting and gathering was stressful! Can you imagine tracking a woolly mammoth or trying figure out which berry or plant might kill you? What if there was a drought and the plants dried up? You would be scraping together twigs and scrawny bony animals for food. Talk about stress with a capital S!

I have a strong sense of hunting and gathering. Sometimes I just don’t know when to stop! I’m the cavewoman with too much stuff. My caveman would come home to a stuffed cave wondering where he could drop his club. The furs would be piled high alongside the triple sized stack of firewood. In the back of the cave we could climb over stacks of dried food stuffs into a furry bed of skins on the dirt floor. Barely two cave people could fit in the space.

My caveman would probably run back out to fish or hunt because the walls were collapsing! Later to be named claustrophobia. Ah poor caveman. Good thing it takes him a while to do his job!

I’m still a hunter gatherer. My storehouses are full with “may need it someday” stuff. I’ve come a long way in reducing the clutter. However I still have a long way to go. Enter the holidays, ah the most joyous and stressful time of the year.

We still have to feed, clothe and shelter our clan. On top of the stress ball we add trying to please everyone with gifts at the best price. Our hunt and gather instinct kicks into overdrive. Our days consumed with shopping and prepping for the season. It’s no wonder I want to take the season off this year!

We started renovating the house. I don’t want to stop. I have finally gotten through the surface clutter. Now I’m going through boxes that haven’t been opened since the boys were toddlers. Again I don’t want to stop. It feels good to change this part of my life. I’m feeling peace creep in the cracks of space created by our work.

I have hit upon another roadblock on my way towards my dreams. I run into this roadblock every year. The hunting and gathering season called the American Christmas.

Here’s the pattern I finally seeing: I usually muddle through Thanksgiving with cleaning and cooking. So the house is in fairly good shape. Then on Black Friday I kick it into overdrive. Starting with shopping for bargains (we all know how well that worked this year! Not!). Then I panic. Oh no! A month, four weeks! The lists start. Then in earnest I begin to stuff everything back in the closets, bedrooms, sheds and attic. Decorate in a fury. It’s a wonder someone doesn’t fall off the roof in the frenzy! Shop! Hunt! Gather! Create!

There is no Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s DO! DO! DO! By December 25th all my good habits are broken. I’ve gained at least five pounds and my A1C (blood sugar results) are not good. Worst of all I have to figure out where I stuffed the stuff that needs to be gone through. At a minimum I’m exhausted. At worst, an opportunistic virus invades my lungs with bronchitis. One year, while dear husband was constructing something for the boys, I was so sick on Christmas Eve I had to buy a humidifier somewhere around midnight since I couldn’t breathe. God Bless clerks at the 24-hour drug store!

No more. I’m stopping the madness this year forward. First I keep telling myself there is no need to panic. Instead of lists, I’m planning new traditions we can all enjoy. I’ll still hunt and gather. I’m not sure how far I’ll pair down the season. But I know one thing. We are finishing our kitchen renovations for our Christmas present to each other. And I choose health! Not sure where the balance will come in but I want to change this craziness. I want to enjoy my Christmas.

The changes I make today I am hoping will make this Christmas one that enhances and blesses my life (what a novel idea). I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

God Bless

Milly

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