In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we may find ourselves grappling with stress, anxiety, and the seemingly overwhelming challenges that may be thrown our way. During these times, it’s incredible how something as simple as a hot shower can become a sanctuary for rejuvenation.
Simplifying holidays to reduce stress is something I’ve been embracing as I’ve gotten older, and life has become busier and less predictable. Several years ago, when I was recovering from knee surgery and couldn’t climb ladders, we downsized our decorating. I skipped the garland wrapped around the bannisters (something you should avoid anyway when you’re hosting anyone with mobility issues), cut the menu in half (do we really need mashed potatoes AND whipped sweet potatoes?), and downsized my tree from an eight-foot behemoth (which STILL didn’t have enough room for my vast collection of ornaments) to a five-and-a-half-foot tree with all the light connections inside the center pole. I’ve also culled my ornament collection, giving some away to younger friends with growing families, and discarding anything that was worn, damaged, or just didn’t speak to me any longer.
One of my favorite memories from childhood is coming downstairs early in the morning to find my grandfather, his comfortably faded flannel bathrobe knotted over his blue pajamas, his feet cozy in fleece-lined slippers, stirring a pot of something on the stove. What the something was would vary – sometimes rolled oats (never “oatmeal”), sometimes farina (cream of wheat). In the warmer months he might be poaching eggs or soft boiling them for presentation in adorable ceramic egg cups. But the point, other than that he often expressed his love for us by cooking, was that he knew what we so often forget: breakfast is important.
On this Mother’s Day, in addition to honoring your mothers and mother-figures, I encourage you to celebrate the mother within. You are at the center of not only others that you care for but yourself, too. You are doing the best that you can, and yes, you may falter at times. Don’t keep going in those moments and at times of exhaustion. Instead, find ways to replenish yourself.