The other night my son and I were shopping at Wal-mart. We were only there for a few groceries, but so were a ton of other people! It being the holiday season the aisles are crammed with displays and there are decorations strung from the ceilings. When we were done, my son says he has a tummy ache and doesn't feel very good. When I asked what he thought was going on, he said it was the shopping.
" Mom, everyone is rushing, and the store is hot, and there is too much to see. It's overwhelming. I don't feel good."
Sure enough, about 20 minutes after we were out of the store, he felt better.
For a lot of people this time of year truly sucks, and they feel the same way my son did. There are a lot of obligations, things to buy, taxes to pay, and places to go. We get the sense that because this season seems so short, but a lot of value is placed on it, that we have to perform. We have to over spend, over eat, and over commit ourselves. The season can be overwhelming and stressful! If this season is all about peace and love then why are we so chaotic and pissed?
What if you did it differently this year?
Look, there are 365 days in the year. Why do we feel like we have to cram everything "special" into 31 days? You don't! What if you took the season back, and made it one you did enjoy? We have 20 days left! It isn't too late.
Look at your schedule for the next month, what is on there that you are dreading? A holiday work party? Dinner with family? Maybe taking the kids to see the jolly fat man himself? I have a suggestion! Cancel it! Seriously, take a red pen and mark a big fat line through three of the obligations that you are dreading the most. Look at all of that time that you just freed up!
Now that you've decided to cancel, you still have to actually cancel them. We can't just ignore obligations or family, no matter how hard we try.
Our most precious gift to ourselves, is time.
Whatever the obligations are that you are willing to let go of, consider it a gift to yourself. When we are able to let ourselves just be, without being stressed out and over-scheduled, we are able to be more for others.