I set my timer for 15 minutes, because yes I can carve out 15 minutes to write. Of course I can.
That’s what this time of year is all about: being intentional with time. It’s so easy, too easy, to get caught on the I haven’t bought enough gifts — I haven’t put up enough decorations — I haven’t been present enough — This year was going to be different carousel.
No. It’s about trying to figure out what ACTUALLY brings you joy and peace, and holding on to it. Aggressively, if necessary. I’ve found that doing this leaves me a little more receptive, and a lot more festive.
Me? I maintain my early-morning runs this time of year largely because of one thing: Christmas lights. When I’m out there in the cold darkness and I see houses with lights on, just shining and twinkling away, my goodness, it does something for me. Joy might be a strong word, but it lightens me. So I’ll keep doing it.
This afternoon a neighbor invited me over for a spontaneous little cul-de-sac get-together. I thought of the list of things I wanted to get done today and the reasons to not go, but I went anyway, and I’m glad I did. Turns out a little community and chatting go a long way, even for this introvert.
My point is, there’s a lot to get wound up about during the holidays. It is in many ways the most wonderful time of the year. But it does NOT have to be the most exhausting!
I’m still figuring out what works for me, and for my family. I suspect this is a prospect that will be years in the making, but I’m up for it. I invite you to do the same. Don’t let the holidays bring you to your knees. Do what it takes — or doesn’t take! — to let them bring you to your feet in a glorious, uninhibited dance of childlike delight.
I wish each and every one of you happiness and peace over these next couple of weeks. If you’re still trying to figure out what it takes to get there, rest assured you’re not alone.
Case in point: that took longer than 15 minutes. Oh well.
Enjoy your holidays, everyone!