Success in Surrender

November 29, 2009 at 5:49 am 3 comments

I’ve been saying it to friends for months, and now it is official: my theme for this year is “surrender.”  When I told this to my mother-in-law recently, she was kind of appalled.  “Oh, don’t say that!” she exclaimed, thinking I meant “giving up.”  “No, I mean surrender in a good way, in a letting-go-of-what-we-cannot-control way,” I explained.

And again, our holiday week proved how much I need this theme in my life this year.  So, our tradition of cleaning out the clutter in our house over Thanksgiving was, as I suspected, not so easy with infant and toddler.  Toddler, by the way, who decided to choose this week to make a protest by coming into our room at all hours of the night, each night of this week, and crawl into our bed and wake us and the baby.  So, ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahaha.  Having time and energy and hands to clean out the house, as we’ve done in years past?  Not so much.

Still, do I feel that this week was a failure?  Heck, no!  As I type this on Saturday night, I see much success in this holiday week.  Why?  Surrender. What do I mean?  Here are some examples:

1. DH and I made a conscious decision on Day 2 of holiday week that it was more important that we focus on taking care of ourselves this week than sticking to our tradition of decluttering the house.  He surfed.  I lunched with a friend, took a long morning walk.  We lunched together one day.  We finally got to watch our Netflix-ed Eli Stone episodes a couple nights.  Baby steps (well, big ones in a year of new baby, needy toddler, teacher of the year craziness, and continuing “when was my last shower?” wonderings), but this choice fed our souls more than a clean house would’ve.

2.  Even so, we still got the fridge cleaned out.  And we see that as a small victory.

3. The toddler in the night thing was really not fun. Not fun at all.  It drove us sleep-deprived adults to ugly bickering with each other at 2 a.m.  And, then the next day, we got away for lunch and got to talk like grown-ups (thanks for the nudge, Vicki!), and we came to some big epiphanies, and to some “surrender” together.  We had to fess up on how we’ve been dealing with some stuff in our lives this year, and once we did, all was released and the air is clear.  There was much singing in the house today.

4.  We also decided to “surrender” to said toddler, in a way.  Not give in, but surrender.  Create an alternative for her — a nice little bed on the floor of our room, and tell her she is welcome to it.  Stop fighting her, stop telling her (consciously and subconscously) she is not welcome.  Accept her in, but on different terms.  Funny enough, this was yesterday, and last night she slept in her own room through the whole night, then came in to our room at the beautifully late hour of 6 a.m. and crawled silently and happily into her little floor bed, then laid there until I went to her and whispered that it was morning and we could go downstairs.  The baby slept till 7.  (Cue the angel choir: “aaaa-lelujah!”)  Knock wood for tonight, but I think we’re on the right track.

So, perhaps the week did not go quite as planned, or quite as in years past. Perhaps there are still large stacks of papers everywhere, clothes piled on the washer, and the holiday decorations aren’t going up quite yet.  But, I still feel some sense of success.  We practiced surrender, and we actually got a bit more sense of control, in the deeper sense, than if we’d forced our clean-out agenda. We made progress with ourselves, with each other, and with the kids.  Tiny inches of progress, but that is how we move forward, right?  One tiny inch at a time.  And celebrating those tiny inches is just what Having Enough is all about.

So, instead of being frustrated that our house is still cluttered, I am going to be content that our minds and the intangibles in our home are a tad less cluttered instead.  And that is enough.

Happy end-of-holiday weekend, everyone.  Hope yours was a good one.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Living True Holiday Values: An Interview With Vicki Hoefle What To Worship: Your Choice

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Slawebb  |  December 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I just started reading your blog yesterday. I linked over for the interview with Vicki. I absolutely love you blog and I’ve only read a couple of posts. Expect to see me, I’ll be here!

  • 2. Monika Mraovic  |  December 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Meg, I learnt to surrender so many things in my life and especially traditions. My Christmas was basically cooking up tons of food and such but since Alexandra was born, we changed it to having a sort of buffet of quick and simple snacks (some of them store bought) in order to be rather with kids. My perceptions what clean is are shifted now and so is the definition of success.
    And a small bed for toddler in your room is a great idea. We wanted more room in our bed and offered Ania who was 2 at that time that she could have her own special bed next to ours and she liked it. Later, however we moved to a smaller house and now we are all four in one king, even though she has her own bedroom. One day she will sleep there, I know.

  • 3. MM  |  January 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    HI M,
    Have been reading your blog off and on, but never posted anything here. Decided to change that. So here goes: Loved this post! Held a special meaning for me.

    keep writing,


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You are visiting "Having Enough (In a Have-It-All World)"...

Blog Mission

To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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