Well, thank you for indulging me in our month of gratitude. I just hope I can hold onto the change it made in my daily life to focus a little more on being grateful, expressing it, and keeping the balance with Random Acts of Kindness.
But it's time to move on. Where to go after discussing gratitude--a great joy provider? Naturally, stress was the first thing that came to my mind, it being a great joy remover after all. Actually, I just figured it was probably a prominent figure in a few other peoples' lives right now and not just mine.
All year long I look forward to this time of year. But since becoming an "adult", sometimes I let the stress and pressures overwhelm the excitement and general feeling of goodness. I want to find everyone on my list the perfect gift while staying within a *reasonable* budget, get my Christmas cards out before Presidents Day, make the most delectable dessert at the party, explain to HH why we need to get a hostess gift and then go out and find a suitable one, etc. And then there's the small day-to-day stresses like getting both kids dressed in their snow gear before the "potty trained" one needs to go again, not spinning out of control while driving on slick roads, keeping one eye constantly glued on the Christmas tree to ensure that it doesn't get pulled over, the ornaments stay put, and the presents below remain unopened, and--you get the picture. And I know you all deal with stresses of your own. So, it's easy to understand why we sometimes lose that "Holiday Cheer".
I understand it, but I don't like it. I feel cheated when that happens because I'm missing out on potential fun and JOY. Not fair. HH refers to me as a "stress case" year-round, so you can imagine what I'm like these days. But, I repeat, I DON'T LIKE IT. Well, I don't. So, I'm trying to get beyond it this year. I try the breathing and/or visualization exercises, but then a little stress peaks through and before I know it, I'm totally distracted away from the relaxing and focused on the stress.
So, what do you do? I think achieving and maintaining the proper perspective (i.e. she'll probably like the doll with the pink hat just as much as the one with the purple hat, so don't ponder it for 25 min. while BW screams for lunch) is very effective at eliminating some stress. Does anyone have good advice on how to actually do that? What about staying cheery even amidst the necessary stresses?
I used to be a pretty mellow and relaxed person but then it was like a switch flipped and now I get panicked over just about everything. I'd really like to go back to the relaxed me so I'd appreciate any advice you have on this one.