It’s that time again. The holidays are here. The hustle and bustle of the season is notably present each time I leave my home to do any kind of errand or shopping. I hear people talking about all the things they have to do to prepare. They carry lists on paper and in their minds. I notice all the beautiful decorations growing around the town where I live and I love all the lights displayed on the houses and businesses. The lights are my favorite part of the holiday. When I was young, my Dad used to pile us all in the big yellow station wagon and drive us through neighboring towns so we could look at all the lights. I did the same with my kids when they were young except we did it in a big orange Volkswagen Vanagon. It is those memories that make the holiday time special to me.
As my children grew older I felt myself becoming more distanced from the December holiday season. The meaning of it was no longer in alignment with my current beliefs and I began to wonder why I continued to go through the motions. I spent some time soul searching about the meaning of the holidays and what was important to me. I realized that that I didn’t have to follow old traditions that no longer held meaning for me and that I could re-create the holiday season in a way that was right for me.
How many times have you found yourself doing something and wondering why you were doing it? Have you ever questioned your motivation to continue with traditions that are no longer in accordance with your beliefs or that cause you to feel unhappy? Sometimes it is easier to continue with what we know rather than make changes that might feel uncomfortable at first. Any time we challenge old belief systems within ourselves, it causes discomfort. Our ego would like us to never change. You may also fear people’s reactions to the changes you want to make. Re-creating your life is never an easy task but what is the alternative?
Life Coach, Cheryl Richardson, describes seven common obstacles that prevent people from living their lives the way they would love to be living them in her book Take Time for Your Life. They are as follows:
- You think “selfish” is a dirty word.
- Your schedule does not reflect your priorities.
- You feel drained by people, places, and things.
- You feel trapped by money.
- Adrenaline has become your main source of fuel.
- You’re missing a supportive community in your life.
- Your spiritual well-being gets last place in your busy life.
When I noticed how the traditional holiday celebrations were leaving me feeling drained and unfulfilled, I decided to make some changes. I stopped doing things that held no meaning for me. I made sure that I took time for myself and did things that were important to me. Now, each year, I make choices that are in alignment with what is important to me and I am not afraid to say no to things that don’t fit. I feel less stressed and happier, and when the holidays are over, I no longer feel resentful and wonder what it was all about.
This year I am looking forward to spending some of the holiday time with my children and my family. I will also spend some time alone in reflection. I enjoy the evening darkness this time of year and will take a drive to enjoy all the lights. In the end, I know that I will come through the holiday feeling refreshed and grounded.
How will you take care of yourself this holiday season? Don’t be afraid to re-create the time to reflect what you really want for yourself. When we practice good self-care, we will be in better order to give to others in a meaningful way. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Yours in re-creation,