All that preparation. All that worry. Did it matter in the end? Did every little thing count? Did the worst happen? Probably not.

In the lead up to Christmas it felt like there was so much to do. It seemed very important to get it all done. My little home got the biggest spring clean it’s had all year. The food was over-planned and set out ready to go. We worried about getting from one venue to another in good time. I worried that the roast would cook.

After all that, our Christmas was smooth and lovely. It was happy and easy. It was spent with people we love. On Christmas Eve we sang along to Elvis. On Christmas day we walked in the park after lunch and had dessert for dinner.

What can I take from this?

What really matters?

I don’t know about you but I’d like to notice what really matters at the time, amidst the hyped up over-drive. I’m glad I shopped for a last minute gift – that was about love. I’m glad I tried the yummy glaze on the pork.

As for all the extra things to eat, we didn’t need them. Right now we’re in detox mode. The cleaning was good to do but it didn’t have to be done quite so thoroughly.

What about you? What was really important? 

My worries were the stressful part

Quite honestly, my worries were the worst part about the lead up to Christmas. The fear of things going wrong and clashes and logistics. Like a good PA I tried to plan for the problems that might happen. In fact, this year, none of what we feared actually happened. The dramas were largely in our minds. Everyone just had a nice time in the end.

How can I stop the worry track? What is actually happening?

It will all be ok

If I were more Australian (born here perhaps) then maybe I could be a little more “she’ll be right mate”. Putting in the effort can be a good thing. But I think it’s also good to choose your battles and your projects wisely. Not everything matters. Do your best but you can’t control the outcome. And often the outcome doesn’t actually matter all that much.

Did it all work out ok this time? If it did, how can you remember that next time?

Disasters make good stories

And if things didn’t go well, you probably got some good stories out of it. Neither comedy nor drama is constructed from calm waters, smooth sailing or perfect communication. Conflict and problems are central to storytelling. So appreciate the raw material. Maybe it’s still very raw but it will make a story eventually.

What about you? Did your fears materialise or did it all work out in the end?