It’s November. Dangerously close to “mid-November.” My kids have exactly 10 days of away school left before Christmas break (they go on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and the calendar is filling up faster than I remember in years past. Friendsgiving, End of year content planning, cookie decorating parties, gingerbread house competitions, gathering after gathering and tradition after tradition are all ahead of us and real life still calls for our attention in the meantime. Here are some things I’m being mindful to do between now and the New Year to stay focused.
1. Reevaluate my commitments. If something isn’t an absolute must, I’m asking myself if it really needs to be done. If the answer is yes, I’m following up with “am I the person that needs to do it?” I tend to take on way more than necessary this time of year and while it feels so good to say “Yes”, if it costs me time with my family, necessary time for rest or if it costs me peace then the answer may need to be “No.”
2. Keep open time on the schedule with no temptation to fill it. An open square in the planner just begs to be filled. Look! Room for a coffee date! A perfect day to organize the playroom! But if the empty days are few and far between, be sure to leave one open for breathing room.
3. Scheduling my sitter. Babysitters are extremely busy during the Holiday Season too and it’d be both unfair and unrealistic to expect she’d be free last minute when O and I realize it’s been too long since date night. I’m being proactive and sitting down to see which Fridays (or any day, really) are free and booking them as time for just the two of us in this busy season.
4. Keep the main thing the main thing. The stress of putting together gift guides, creating quality content, being present on social media, fining the best gifts for the people I love and feels like it takes the cake but I know none of those things are more important than my true priorities in this season. I want to point my kids to Christ through our Advent routine. I want to direct my own heart to the love and sacrifice of the Lord. I want to be present and joyful for the ones I love and make memories we’ll cherish for years to come. When I start to feel frazzled or stressed I’m going to pause, reboot and set myself back on course in this direction.
5. Remember to make my health a priority. Last week I bought “holiday” coconut nog. This week it’s gone. I let each of my kids have exactly one cup which means the rest of it is part of me now. That sort of thing seems to just happen around this time of year where our brains pull our sweetest memories from the reserves and they all have a nice tie to some sort of indulgent food or treat. I’m all for making special allowances but I know when I go overboard and completely change my diet while having less time for exercise I simply cannot feel my best. I’m remembering to do the things that keep me feeling like myself all year long which, for me, looks like exercising a couple times a week, packing my lunchbox so I don’t get stuck hungry and making poor choices, avoiding the foods I know don’t serve me well and getting my rest.
The most wonderful time of the year is here, friends. What things do you remind yourself of in this season to end the year strong?