This year I was determined that I wasn’t going to let the holiday season get the better of me. I was going to get my shopping done early, and wrap those presents long before Christmas eve. I wasn’t going to eat everything in sight just because it was there on the buffet table at a party, and I was going to start a new workout program in the middle of it all, just to prove it could be done. In other words, I was going to beat the holidays by being perfectly prepared.
Ummm…what was I thinking?! I mean, preparation is an amazing thing, don’t get me wrong. I HIGHLY recommend it! In fact, you can’t be successful at anything without a good plan (at least in my opinion.) I guess the missing piece in my holiday planning scheme, is that despite all the planning in the world, perfection isn’t an option. Sometimes, unforeseen things happen that are beyond your control–somebody gets sick, you just realized you had two more people than you thought on your Christmas list, or the grocery store is out of your favorite Cabernet, so you’ll have to settle for red table wine. Sound familiar?
I had a little a-ha moment yesterday while the kids and I were out shopping. There were a couple of things we’d forgotten to buy, and with every stop we made, they seemed to remember one more thing we just had to get for so-and-so. After all of that, I realized I had to go back out to find a dress for our family Christmas party in NY, because it was the only chance I’d have to do it before we left. I was starting to get stressed because I realized that I wasn’t going to have time to get my workout in. I thought, how could I miss a workout when I’m starting something new? I made a commitment to show up! Then I realized I was choosing stress by being so inflexible. I knew this week was going to be tough, and I was going to have to improvise a bit. We’ll be having people over, attending parties, traveling, and it is CHRISTMAS after all!
Seems obvious maybe, but in that moment I understood that I needed to cut myself some slack. This week is not going to be perfect, and my overall schedule is going to have some holes in it. And the truth is, there will always be challenges and obstacles no matter what time of year it is. Accepting those challenges and showing ourselves a little compassion makes for a happier, less stressful existence.
With that, I wish you a less-than-perfect but stress-free holiday with the ones you love, and blessings, love, and light in the new year!
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