Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Being Grateful - Even for Annoyances


Why does it seem like the time of year that is meant for giving, sharing, friendship, thanking, etc. is the most hectic? It’s easy to become a Scrooge if you aren’t careful. There are trees and mantels to decorate, cookies to bake, parties to attend, potlucks to cook for, family to visit, places to go, and oh the shopping that must get done.

Lately I have found myself pretty stressed and a bit snappy because I feel like there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get even half of it all done. Tuesday I thought that if I just didn’t workout, then that would free up some time. But I refuse to succumb to that thinking. If I do it once, I’ll do it again. I try to view my workouts like my job in a way. It’s part of the routine, just like waking up on time or going to bed on time. Holiday parties, potlucks, shopping for gifts are not (well, maybe the shopping part is).

I’ve mentioned before that I have two very dear friends affected by cancer right now. As my husband and I were dragging out the boxes of Christmas decorations, I had to think about my friends. I was taking it all for granted. Annoyed at the mess, annoyed at how long it was taking, etc. I should be relishing every moment because I may not get another one like it.

So I have decided to take everything in smaller portions. I don’t have to have the entire house decorated to the hilt…period. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever really. My family and friends won’t really think less of me. If they do, then perhaps I should rethink the friendships.

I also don’t have to have all the shopping done and gifts wrapped at once. Yes, I may end up having to fight some crowds. But if that is what has to happen, then so be it. I’ll go home and have a glass of wine afterward! As for the parties and get-togethers, it’s ok to say no, or it’s OK to only drop in briefly if that’s all the time you have. Sometimes those get-togethers are the only time you get to see certain friends or relative, so you make those a priority. Enjoy the moment essentially. And yes, I realize that it’s one of those “easier said than done” types of things, especially for those who tend to stress out easily.

I have a tendency to get ahead of myself. I'm a list-maker, so I start making a list of all the things that I HAVE to get done. Then I stress out about it. Ugh, need to get the dough going for cookies (my sister and I do a cookie baking day), crap, forgot to pick up the work-party Dirty Santa gift, dang, got another dish to make…etc. I psych myself out and start to not look forward to things, things that are actually enjoyable. I LOVE the cookie day with my sister, the work-party Dirty Santa game is actually a lot of fun, and I like to cook. So what’s the deal?! Why make good things bad?

Anyone who really knows me knows that this won’t come easy to me (so stop rolling your eyes Jason). I am an all or nothing kind of person. I think that for my sanity, however, I need to keep myself in check a little better. I need to learn to appreciate the small things, even the annoying things. I know that there may come a time when I will actually miss them.

So, here is my plan of attack:

  • Remember to be grateful and appreciate even the annoyances
  • Try to maintain a normal routine or accept that it’s not going to kill me to deviate slightly.
  • Take baby steps and do one task at a time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.