Choices, Christmas 2021, Family, friends, gratitude, Hands free, Retreat, self-care, time

Hands Free.


This morning the sleet was striking hard and the birds in hiding when, all cozy in my flannel pj’s, my digestive biscuit fell into the fresh cup of tea with a little ‘plop.’ It was a sign of today’s downslide mood: the book I am reading is too long, the tree is losing needles faster than I can vacuum, church was out of the question to stay clear of crowds and the new virus variant. ADaneKnits orders are done. The closets are cleaned of old coats, hats and mittens on their way to people who need them more. A mountain of cookies are bagged. Wrapping: check. Our long-anticipated Christmas Eve gathering was cancelled. Do you see where this is going?

My hands are too free; all wound up for my favorite holiday and grounded. This does not feel right.

It is right, on many levels, of course: hard decisions had to be made — retract and stay well (or meet outside ’round the solo stove) — so we could gather together the 24th with family, healthy for the holiday. But all this time alone is a dangerous slope for this type-A.

I want to spread joy, eggnog, body hugs SO MUCH. I want to see you. Instead, I watch Single All The Way on Netflix not once, but twice.

Yesterday it occurred to me that while I intended to be on holiday from writing, I could set the twinkle lights on ‘blink’ mode, clear my desk of wrapping paper, and sink into some more words. Unheard of in Christmas seasons past.

Isn’t time what I long for when ordinarily the season is a race to the finish?

I look at my hands that never stop and remind them that rest is good for all of me. No need to do anything but settle into the moment, be grateful for free. So this Sunday before Christmas, instead of bells and hymns, brunch and mimosas, crowding into shops, I will take a long walk. Later, I might even string lights around all the beds and take a long bath.

Because, you know, nothing but time is ok.

Thanks for reading, grateful for you, stay well.

Merry Christmas.


Yes, this cup.


3 thoughts on “Hands Free.

  1. amy danforth says:

    You captured our sentiments exactly! So longing for normalcy. Well written!

    Is Christmas Eve at your house cancelled? Totally understand if so.



  2. Pamela Baldwin says:

    Thank you Alex, I Love this.

    Doing nothing is often quite extraordinary and most rewarding. Last year at this time I had two grandchildren living with me (on their own, without parents since late August and it was Just me) at the helm 24/7. I also was full of lyme since the Spring without a positive diagnosis. I’m not whining, honest. BUT, boy what difference a year makes. So enjoy those down and quieter times while we have them. They are the best.

    Merry Christmas to you, Stevie, and the brood. Love, P

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nan says:

    Merry Christmas Alex
    There is nothing harder than having nothing to do!
    Your family pictures looked great.
    We are home cooling off after a visit to ct. it was wonderful.
    Happy New Year


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