Monday, October 31, 2011

I Said "Yes" to Me!

I love the holidays, but as November was approaching, I began to see the stress associated with them and my frustration level began to grow. It’s not the turkey and holiday candy that gets to me, but all the outside activities that keep my calendar full- in a very exhausting way.

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!  

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