Getting out of the Holiday blues

For years I hated the holidays. I’ve always seen the holidays time as full of hurt, and a lot of headache. I have a huge family and I love my family very much. But over the years I’ve tended to separate myself from some of my family because of their negativity and attitudes.

This year I decided to go at the holidays alone and to my surprise I didn’t contract holiday Blues this year. I’ve been spending way more time with my kids. Who’s hilarious, by the way. My kids help to keep me grounded. Sometimes I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be as much fun.

So this Thanksgiving, my family and I had Thanksgiving here at home. I cooked all the traditional Thanksgiving food that I love to cook for my family each year. We ate, we talked, we drank, and repeated until we all passed out for the night. I must say it was the most fun that I’ve had with my little family here, my husband, my two kids and his brother who currently lives with us.

There was no drama, no fussing, no stress. And this is how I would like every holiday to go but unfortunately I know it won’t be so, or can it be?

I’ve been working on the rest of the Holiday season and how I would like for it to go. Remember, plans will always change. Leave room for the unexpected. I have delegated certain tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed. Done is always better than perfect.

I’ve opted out of heavy decor this year. I have two little monsters that I will keep busy by letting them make the decorations (that I have strategically located online) and put up the tree. Michael’s craft store has been a real time saver for all of the decor and crafts for kids.

Finally, my menu is simple. Minimum leftovers predicted. I’ll have plenty of time to mingle and celebrate. I’ve also gotten plenty of disposable dishes and pans. Minimum cleaning predicted also. This planning didn’t take long and wasn’t complicated. Mostly clever and common sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think of all this before.

I realized that most of my stress and anxiety associated with the holidays is caused by my constant pursuit of perfection. I’ve been chasing a ghost. Perfection does not exist. I don’t have to impress my family. They could care less about the decorations or our outfits for that matter. They’re just happy to celebrate with us and that is just what the holidays are about. Family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and blessed holiday season. I hope to see you all in 2019.

Happy holidays!

Seeing life through someone else’s eyes

You never know how your actions affect other people until you hear exactly what you are going through from someone else’s perspective. It’s like shining a light into your own dark life.

I had a conversation with a close friend of mine and he told me a story about his ex-girlfriend. He was in love with her and she hurt him, badly. This story is common among people who have been in a relationship. The difference was that my friend was honest enough to tell me his true feelings. Feelings that he had expressed to no one before. I was touched and honored. For someone to share their innermost feelings means that they are very comfortable with trusting you and telling you this information.

The way he explained his feelings opened my eyes as to how my own husband feels about certain things in our relationship. My husband is the strong silent type. He doesn’t verbalize as much as I do. Now I feel like I have a better perspective on things from a man’s point of view. I will take the time to have a deep conversation with my husband to find out if this applies but for the most part, I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that I consider his feelings.

You never know how your actions affect someone else until you hear it from someone on the outside looking in. There is a lot we can learn from each other just by listening. Not just with our eyes but with our heart.

This conversation definitely opened my eyes.

Productivity

 As humans we are naturally wired to tackle the easy stuff first and then the hard stuff. This behavior usually leaves us looking as if we are not productive. We leave unfinished business at the end of the day and say “Well I’ll finish it tomorrow.” which puts us behind on tomorrow’s tasks because we are still working on “yesterday” which should have been finished so we could focus on “today”.

This is why organization and decluttering are so important to me. I don’t like being surrounded by stuff. I would rather be surrounded by “things”. I know by now you are saying that this girl has lost her mind but I promise there is a difference.

Stuffnoun– miscellaneous, Unspecified objects. These are the things that surround us for no reason and often times have no use. We justify keeping “stuff” with reasons such as sentimental value. Which really means ” I don’t want to or I can’t seem to part with this object even though I know that it is useless

Thingsnoun-any movable possession. The example given in the dictionary is articles of clothes but I’m going a little deeper. Let’s use Knowledge as and example.

Knowledgenoun– the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning.

To me, knowledge is a true possession. No one can take away what you know. You earn knowledge. Either through school or experience. Knowledge is priceless, required, acquired, ever changing and dangerous all at the same time. Knowledge is power and too much of it can lead to madness.

I’m far from madness but, I have just begun to realize my power. Knowing what I know now I can achieve so much more. I can do so much more. I can react and handle things a whole lot better. And every day my knowledge grows. I cultivate it like a rare flower. Watering it daily by making myself learn something new and reading. Yes, reading. You would be astounded by how much information is easily accessible on a multitude of subjects. Anything you want to know about anything is at your fingertips thanks to technology.

With that being said, my organization and planning is all digital. Between my phone my tablet and my computer. I have backups of everything and I’m constantly updating.

Until I started planning and making lists I could not believe the amount of tasks I could get done in a day. It is amazing. I keep myself focused and I am always busy. I keep myself busy and focused on something daily because I am a firm believer in an old saying. “An Idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
I find this to be so true. When you are not focused on something. Demons have a way of creeping into your head and torching your ideas, dreams, goals and visions. And not the type of demons that come from hell and you need a priest to get rid of. I’m talking about the demons that are sometimes overlooked because they seem harmless and are not identified as they truly are. “demons”

  1. Laziness– not wanting to do anything
  2. Procrastination– Oh I’ll do it later, the lie we tell ourselves and things never get done
  3. Writer’s block– The non use of a creative mind (no inspiration)
  4. Sleepiness– not from lack there of but oh I just need a nap that ends up stealing 5 hours of your day,
  5. Excuses– the justification of one or all of the above
All of these things lead to unproductivity. The only way to combat these is planning and sticking to your plan. You even have to plan your leisure time or it too can turn into a demon of unproductivity.
Planning is how I fight this. I suffered with the demon of depression for so many years. But that is a subject for another time. My point is, my depression was accompanied by the demons above and more and because of my long period of doing nothing, focusing on nothing and eating my way around the world. Because of the knowledge I have acquired through the last ten years I know now what was holding me back. 
I have taken back my life by taking back my productivity. I am focused and ready and it all started with a plan and a planner. I’ve stuck with it and it’s really helped to put a lot of things into perspective. There are a few questions I want you to ask yourself as I close.
  1. What am I doing?
  2. Is this productive?
  3. What will I accomplish?
Take the time to ask yourself these questions. Develop a plan and get started towards your goals. You only live once. Make the most of the time you have and do something great.