Now That It’s Over

By Patrick McNerthney 


Ah yes, the week after Thanksgiving. How’s that going? Hopefully you’re having a seamless transition into the first of four weeks of frenzied activities before Hannukah/Christmas/Kwanzaa or whichever winter holidays ya’ll celebrate.  

Activities like: jobs, shopping, planning, decorating, grabbing a peppermint mocha, complaining about relatives, and secretly wishing everything would just slow down for a second are piling up like that mountain of whipped cream you just added to that mocha

At least that’s how the next few weeks roll in my house, and we don’t even have to navigate long-distance travel or staying at someone’s place overnight. Crud, I’m not forgetting something am I? We’re not secretly going to Vermont or some crazy place for Christmas are we? What did you hear? I’d better check the Google calendar. Or better yet, just ask Google what to do in general.

(Oh great one, (cue the kneeling and scraping), please give me direction.)

This time of year, or around this season, it seems October is the only month comprised of actual weeks. The rest is a blur. Starting November 1st space time chucks us into a Lamborghini and mashes down the accelerator. We careen down life’s track, g-forces compressing us into the passenger seat as we hold on with a white-knuckle grip until January 2nd, when the ride is over, and we stumble out of that sweet Italian sports car wondering what the heck happened. 

That’s right, just hang in there! You’ll make it! I’ll make it!

And now the rub: What exactly are we hanging in there for

Our desire to “hang in there” shows a lot of focus, resilience, and determination. Personally, I’m great at “making it through,” I have quite a bit of endurance that way. But it’s not sustainable, requires a tremendous amount of energy, and forces me to compartmentalize everything else to the degree that I miss why I’m doing it in the first place

Oops. There goes the holiday spirit. 

(Wait, why am I doing this?)

There are situations when a tighter grip doesn’t help, and I’d like to suggest the remaining weeks of this year is one of them. Instead of hanging on, try letting go. Release. Allow. Be present. Because that’s what our friends, family, coworkers, and those we serve need from us. That’s what this time is for. And it’s hard to do when we’re rushing around with this “just gotta get it done and everything will be okay” attitude, because what we “gotta get done” is an infinite loop, and ultimately lacks meaning.  

Fine Art Miracles (FAM) provides caregivers of the elderly, children with challenges, and people with different abilities a unique, joyous way to be present through creative expression. It’s a real-time process, or maybe better said a stop-time process, as all of FAM’s services, especially our ART2GO packages, simply involve making, together, in the moment, with no other agendas: No menus to plan, stores to rush to, lists to cross off, or any of the other stuff that makes time move so fast we feel like we need to hang on.

The goal is to simply let go, release, and allow creativity to flow. The best part is creativity by its very nature can’t be “right” or “wrong,” or come with a checklist. It’s just there to enjoy, if we make room for it. Seriously, try making a great Matisse cat picture with your loved one, or maybe some Franz Marc ponies in the snow–you’ll both love it!

It certainly helps that FAMs programs inspire your residents and loved ones by generating feelings of self-worth, relevance, and confidence, while connecting them with both their past and their ability to make change in an environment where they may feel lost and isolated. And isn’t that why you do this work in the first place? 

So what do you think? Why not give it a shot? Drop FAM a note or give them a call – they’re more than happy to help you loosen that grip! Me? Well, I’ve gotta go, now that Thanksgiving is over I’ve got a million things to do to get ready for the December holidays. Hey, I didn’t say I was perfect… But I’ll take this message to heart, because I don’t want to wake up on January 2nd to find life has passed me by. Again!


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