This month as you whirl from work to shopping to parties to laundry to recitals to decorating to the next thing to the next, trying to get EVERY LAST DETAIL RIGHT, do you feel the winds rising? Are they curling around you, accelerating to tropical storm levels? Can a hurricane be far behind? The combination of perfectionism and a tight calendar can turn destructive, both for the perfectionist at the center of the storm and for people in our path. As a reforming perfectionist, here’s my advice to survive the busy season.
I love Christmas. I do. But I don’t much care for a steady diet of anything, not even the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. To keep from burning out on Christmas carols before Christmas Day, I vary my diet. I thought you might like a few non-Christmas items in your buffet, too. So here are a few things I liked this week that have zero to do with the holidays, but everything to do with getting outside yourself, beyond yourself, and in tune with yourself all at the same time – all paths to living Big.
The winter holiday season in the US is like our football season…if football skipped over the pre-season & regular season & playoffs, and went straight into the fever pitch of 3 massive Superbowls. Because in the US Holiday Season, there are the big 3: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. (There are other holidays, and I celebrate some of them, but we all know which games attract the biggest audiences.) There is, shall we say, a LOT going on this time of year. Even the happiest elf can get overwhelmed thinking of all the to do’s and events, traditions and deadlines, and so many opportunities to go the extra mile that you can end up feeling like you’ve run a marathon long before New Year’s Day. So, what’s an elf to do to stay merry and bright?
It’s been a hectic month. Between my husband’s (successful!) shoulder surgery, my own health issues, special projects at work and life in general, I got a wee bit overwhelmed for a couple three weeks. You know how it goes – you get busy, then busier, then tired, and the things you normally do to take care of yourself go by the wayside, and pretty soon you’re alternating between road rage and weeping at the poignant wisdom of the bumper sticker ahead while tailgating at high speed.
I spent a good part of this month in the Ozarks on a writer’s retreat. Nothing organized – just me in a wonderfully funky Artist’s Cottage, a creatively refurbished carriage way station on a country road outside Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Before I went, I decided this trip was not about productivity. It was about recharging. Writing was part of how I did that, but there was so much more to it.