For the past few years (maybe more), I’ve noticed that heading into the holidays I begin to feel flooded with a load of mixed emotions. Not sure if it’s the heavy set of expectations we place on ourselves, the family stress, the financial stress, the pressure to attend holiday events and “be cheery”…It can be exhausting. Alternatively, I love my house smelling of pine, a twinkling tree, candles glowing, snuggling up by the fire with my boy who loves Christmas so much. (“Elf” viewing #43120 anyone?) I love the spirit of giving. I love crispy cold runs followed by hot coffee by the fire. I love going to the sweet little tree farm and picking out the perfect little tree for our little house.
As the year winds down and I consider my goals for next year, I am keeping my eye on some tools that I know will help minimize the potential for the holiday crazy…
- The big bonus of the holiday season is the time I get to spend with my son…I’m working on using the tools of patience and presence to truly “be” with him. The years with him are numbered and I am keenly aware of how quickly time passes.
- Helping others. Nothing gets the focus off myself and clears out the grumps better than doing something kind for someone else, just because.
- Letting go. There’s a lot I don’t know & even more I have no control over. Reminding myself to take my sticky fingers off the steering wheel & simply welcome the day as another opportunity to pay attention & be amazed. Aaaaaand, there ARE a few things I DO have control over….. and they are:
- Running! I am not losing my laser focus over the holidays, simply because it’s the holidays dammit! One of the best tools I have is my training plan. That, and keeping my eyes on my short & long term race goals. I revisit my goals daily as they keep me inspired. I look to my running community as well, as there are some fantastically motivating folks around me and I do not take them for granted!
- Nutrition! I was fortunate enough to have had Purium products fall into my lap earlier this year and I am not letting it go as my nutritional ally. Here’s why: I have nearly kicked my sugar habit for good (a few ooopsies have occurred here & there), my skin has not been this clear of eczema in years, and my running has benefited hugely from the absence of sugar, alcohol, processed crap and refined grains. Lastly, after 19 years of using prescription meds for my depression, I am now completely off my anti-depressants. They saved my life at one time but I am over the moon to bid them farewell. Purium is not a magic bullet but simply a tool that has aided me in making some huge changes.
- Lastly, yoga! Yoga is my go-to relaxant these days. I love it & will keep my yoga mat close this holiday season.
You Reading This, Be Ready
“Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life.
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?”
– William Stafford