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Monday, December 12, 2016

Holidays, Vacations, and Trouble


What do holidays and vacations have in common? Among other things, rushing around ahead of time. Instead of happily anticipating a vacation, we run around making sure we have everything we need or must do ahead of time—buy miniature toiletries and new clothes, cancel the newspaper, stop the mail, etc., etc., etc.

Christmas should be a time of joy and remembrance of the reason to celebrate. Instead, we are consumed by what we have to do. We have to buy presents for our loved ones—oh, and don’t forget that gift for the office exchange. We have to bake cookies. We have to clean. We have to decorate our houses. We have to send out cards. We drive ourselves crazy trying to remember what we’ve forgotten.

Along with all that rushing around comes trouble. Several years ago, while thinking about what I still needed to do before a vacation, I didn’t see a curb, tripped, and fell to my knees on the sidewalk. Ouch. That shook me up enough to make me slow down. In anticipation of driving to our sister’s for Christmas one year, my other sister hurriedly walked her dog, slipped on ice, and broke her wrist. People have car accidents because they’re thinking about something else and not paying attention.

There’s the crux of the problem. Not paying attention. You would think that after falling (or nearly falling) I would be more careful. I am. Usually. With the first big (no, make that BIG) snow of the season, I’m cautious as I walk outside. No rushing for me. So what did I do? I tripped in my own house over something I should have put away and slammed into a curio cabinet. I didn’t fall, thank goodness, but my upper arm sports a huge bruise.

From the above anecdotes, you might think what a klutz. And you’d be right. I was never graceful, even in my younger days. Although I try to be more cautious, I don’t always pay attention—like the time a couple of us left book group, talking, and I missed a step and landed on my hip. Good thing I have lots of padding there.  LOL

My advice—to you and, especially to myself—is to slow down. And all those things that you have to do? The world will not come to an end if you don’t do them. Don’t stress over what you haven’t done. Relax. Enjoy the season. Don’t get so wrapped up in the rush. Be careful. Remember why we celebrate. 


16 comments:

  1. I'm a klutz too. I think it's because we spend o much time with our brains on stories, reality (in the form of furniture and curbs) gets in our way.

    It is important to remember the real reason to celebrate. All the busy stuff can ruin the joy of the season.

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    1. Accidents can ruin a holiday, too. Glad to know I'm not the only klutz. LOL

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  2. My motto for fun (and this applies to holidays, because they're supposed to be fun, right?) is this: If you're going something for FUN, and it's not, don't do it! I stopped decorating because it got to be more chore than fun. I dreaded dragging all the stuff out, and then having to put it all away.

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    1. Putting away all the decorations is the worst. It means the holidays are over. So sad. I agree, Cara, when it isn't fun, don't do it.

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  3. Slowing down is great advice!
    Thanks Diane
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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  4. Made me realize how much I have slowed down from when I was a full-time working mother writing on the sly! One year I was in such a hurry, I chose the wrong negative for our family Christmas pic--50 copies of a hole in a snowbank. DUH! Now I just do whatever I feel like doing which means NO baking, NO gifting (just $ for the grand kids) and minimal decorating. Feels GOOD! Happy Holidays!

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    1. I agree, Susan. My grandkids love to get money or gift cards. They love shopping (not sure where they get that from!). Sounds like you've found a way to enjoy the holidays.

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  5. Love this...excellent advice. It's important to keep in mind what really matters. Thanks for the great reminder!

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    1. Why is it we only get smart(er) when we get older?

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  6. Sounds like good advice! I've decided to give myself permission to do nothing at all if I feel like it!

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  7. Great advice! I like to say that it's a good thing Christmas comes whether we're ready or not because otherwise women (sorry, but I think we're the guilty ones) would postpone it indefinitely.

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  8. I'm not a klutz. I'm just not so good at realizing where I end and other things begin, is all.

    We stopped doing cards in 2003. In 2002, I'd taken an amazing picture of our dog and our 15 month old son by the tree for the card, which I designed and printed myself. I also wrote a newsletter in which I revealed we were having another child in July.

    We did - and he spent the entire 12 days of his life in the NICU.

    How do you say something like that to folks you only talk to at the holidays? I couldn't figure it out, and we just haven't done cards since. We don't get many, anymore, either. I have a twinge of missing them here and there, but it's really not something I need.

    This year, we'll be lighting Hanukkah candles, even though we aren't Jewish. We bought a little rainbow menorah a couple of years ago, when we spent part of the holiday with some dear Jewish friends, and they invited us to share in the ritual.

    I've been sorting our much-reduced ornaments, giving a lot to our 12 year old daughter, who loves to decorate. She saw the menorah, and asked if we could light it. She already knew that Hanukkah starts on Christmas Eve this year. I'll need to get some candles, and we don't know the prayer, but we'll light the menorah because it will be pretty, and it's something she and I can do together.

    We agree. If it isn't fun, don't do it. We try to live that way, year round, so there's a lot more peace and calm and everyday magic around this season, for us, especially as the kids get older (our son is now 15, and tends toward being a minimalist - he wants us all to go play Laser Tag as his gift!)

    May you heal quickly, and may your season be just the right kind of merry and bright. =D

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  9. Shan, I laughed at your 1st paragraph then cried at your losing your son. I know it's been several years, but my heart still goes out to you. Both my daughter and DIL miscarried. Hard to deal with. Love your story about the menorah. How great to incorporate other traditions. Thanks so much for your comment.

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