As I write this, many of us are enjoying the holidays (and down time!) between Christmas and New Year’s. Perhaps you have already taken down your Christmas tree and decorations? That doesn’t happen for us until January 2. During this time, I usually conduct an informal debriefing of the Christmas season. Did everything go as planned?Did I get stressed out or sick? Did I enjoy the season? What would I like to do differently next year?
This Christmas was a bit different for me because I opted out of attending a relative’s Christmas Eve dinner despite the fact that both of my siblings, my mom, nieces and nephews would be there. I read about a book on one of my friend’s Goodreads lists called The Joy of Missing Out: The Art of Self Restraint in an Age of Excess by Svend Brinkmann. I immediately put this book on reserve at my local library. The joy of missing out. What a concept! Of course, it is a reversal of the popular FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. The joy of missing out exactly sums up my feelings about missing Christmas Eve dinner. Although I regretted not being with my family on Christmas Eve, the thought of driving an hour each way to this relative’s dinner had me feeling exhausted at the very thought of it, not to mention the fact that the hostess usually serves dinner later. Perhaps the stress of the holidays was catching up to me? I did have a busy December. I just wanted to relax on Christmas Eve by our Christmas tree with no demands on my time and watch a holiday movie and this is what I ended up doing. And yes, I experienced the joy of missing out!
I spent a relaxing Christmas Day with my mom – we had a leisurely breakfast, took a long time opening our presents, listened to some Christmas music while watching the fake firelog on TV and had a dinner of filet mignon. Boxing Day was busier as it’s a tradition for us to visit my sister and brother-in-law an hour north of the city. It’s a casual get-together in the afternoon enjoying appetizers and desserts and I love playing with my fur-nephew Riley!
So……yes, I did feel stressed this Christmas and found that I had to drop a few traditions off my list such as holiday baking. Next December, I won’t hesitate to back out of holiday obligations sooner if I am starting to feel stressed. I also won’t pack my schedule so tightly so that I leave some room to relax and recoup in between events. And I definitely need to get my Christmas shopping finished earlier!
Now I am formulating New Year’s resolutions or, as many people are calling them, “New Year’s intentions”. It is my intention to:
1) Be Selective – This includes being selective about business opportunities, people I spend time with, items I purchase, how I spend my leisure time, and what I choose to devote my attention to e.g. social media, TV, internal thoughts, reading. Time is finite and I’m more aware of this as I get older. It makes sense to be selective about how we spend our limited amount of time in order to get the most out of it.
2) Be Healthier – For me, this means being more aware of my body’s needs, including the need to relax and not push myself so hard. It also may mean turning down invitations to events or gatherings if I don’t feel they offer enough of an emotional or financial payoff or if they use up too much of my energy. I also have to ensure that I eat the best foods my body needs to function at a high level, as well as get enough sleep.
3) Easy Peasy – My new test when making a decision about attending an event or even getting together with friends is to determine how much effort it is going to take on my part. If it requires that I jump through hoops, I’ll be taking a pass. For those of you who follow Abraham Hicks (Law of Attraction), you’ll know that Abraham advises that life is meant to be fun. He states, “Most people do not expect their path to great abundance to be one of ease and joy. They have been taught that struggle and hardship and sacrifice are requirements that must be met before the reward of great abundance can be realized.” This philosophy may seem counter-intuitive to many people, but I’m going to give it a try.
How was your Christmas? Do you have any New Year’s intentions for 2020? Please let me know in the comment section.
You might be interested in reading, “The Power of No: Manage Christmas Holiday Stress“.