The holidays are right around the corner. Thanksgiving, in the US, is traditionally the kick-off event that begins the December holiday season. Then we have Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Lately, our consumer frenzy has pushed back to Halloween as our airwaves are filled with ads. A local radio station just switched to 24/7 Holiday music!
All of this – the ads, the music, the sales, the frenzy – push against us to create the BEST holiday possible. Our expectations soar. One of the reasons I’d rather quietly tiptoe through. My only focus: having my children in my home at the same time!
As we prepare to compete and deliver the best, the most expensive, the most decorated, or the most delicious event ever, let’s realize it’s our choice. But most of it is actually meaningless. I know, harsh words, right?! Meaningless? I think you know what I mean. I’ve said it before: No stuff will ever create the feeling you want to have inside.
Our high expectations can often set us up for disappointment. This doesn’t just happen during the holidays, but it certainly gets heightened. So let’s break it down…
You invite your loved ones. They travel from far and wide to be together. You decorate, you cook, you clean, you set the table, wraps the gifts…you do all the things that you’ve always done, but more.
Too many of us place standards upon ourselves to reach a pinnacle that isn’t there. It can make us all a bit crazy. We set up do’s and don’ts that influence how we act and how we respond. We live in a culture that significantly values achievement and doing more. It becomes practically impossible to keep up.
Our internal voice, the one that pushes us to perfection, can be tenacious. But we hold the power to give that voice, our voice, a sense of humor and lightness. Let’s have more fun!
We are scurrying around, ultimately, for the feeling of togetherness, bonding and love.
As you move through the next month of busy days and nights, remember your WHY: Togetherness, bonding and love. Loosen up!!
Find the humor when you are stressed to do more. Doing more is not necessary.
Lighten up when you can’t keep up. Ask for help.
Let it go when you tell yourself things aren’t perfect yet. They will never be.
Give yourself permission to relax when your work is not done. It will never be.
Nurture yourself constantly. Take a walk, meet a friend for coffee, get fresh air in your lungs. All of this will take the stress down and the sparkle up.
Pema Chodron writes “blur your sharp corners of criticism and complaint.” Let’s attend to our days with a softer attitude in work and at home so that when something really wacky happens, we can laugh!!