Every self-help book in the world insists that we all have choices. I felt the need to exercise mine. I notice that I have a higher tendency to say “yes” to everyone who approaches me during this time of year. (Oddly, I’ve convinced myself that I do it in the interest of giving back during the holiday season). So, what will be different?
This season, I think I’ll say “yes” to me. What do I want? I want a peaceful, joyous holiday season without the rushed preparation. I want to enjoy the whole season, November all the way through to January. I want to feel new and rested when the new year begins.
As I dissected this idea, I began to look at past holiday schedules: business trips, projects due, working up to the minute that the office was finally closed. Some years, I have added more vacation to the Christmas week. This helps, but it doesn’t always seem like enough time to recover. (What if I weren’t so exhausted in the first place?)
This year, I chose to modify my November-December calendar to reflect only the most important tasks. I removed all the optional events (or re-designated some tasks that were once deemed “important”- over to the newly created “optional” category). Rescheduling is a beautiful thing. I cancelled a long business trip scheduled right before Thanksgiving. I turned down an invitation to an event that included weekend time in December. I cleared my plate for the holiday season I always dreamed of. I replaced late working evenings with the high school Christmas concert. Instead of being in another city, I’ll be at my house, deciding on the dessert menus: Thanksgiving, Birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Anniversary, New Year’s Day, and all the days in between when cider, wine and cookies taste so good with friends.
I feel better already.
Instead of being in the holiday stress zone, I am creating a place of peace, whether it’s in the office quietly catching up on work I’ve put off, or at home finally laying the new bathroom tiles.
Peace and gratitude are within. I choose to make room for them to flourish. Let the Season of Joy begin!