Thanksgiving is over. It’s time to get serious.
Christmas is coming.
It’s critical to remember that as we enter the intense and exciting holiday season, the major theme of this time of year is peace and goodwill. Any good holiday movie will tell you this (It’s A Wonderful Life is my very favorite, but I also adore Dickens’ tale of Ebenezer Scrooge). Advent calendars are poised to open on Day One, stores are bustling, and Santa is watching. Blue Spruce, Virginia Pine, and Douglas Firs are carefully stacked to attract tree trimming families everywhere. Boys and girls are keeping lists and writing letters detailing coveted bits and baubles. Champagne is chilled for holiday gatherings when mistletoe appears and kisses are stolen. I love this time of year.
But sometimes, the peace and goodwill I crave gets pushed to the bottom of the barrel of holiday treasures. Often this happens when I pick up the newspaper to read the latest. Inevitably, I learn that mobs of seasonal shoppers include manic strangers intent on purchasing deeply discounted products, at the risk of being Pepper sprayed, trampled and even jailed!
If Black Friday is someone’s idea of introducing the season of peace and goodwill toward men, I’d just to like to point out how it taints the entire point of the season. If the purpose of the season is really about procurement and competition, I’d rather pass. If the disappointment of missing your chance at buying the last $%&^*(*! toy on the shelf exceeds the joy that you find in your little one’s expression as he sees colored lights appear on your neighbors’ trees, then something is seriously wrong.
Don’t misunderstand me. I appreciate a bargain as much as the next gal. In fact, I’ll probably check out amazon.com before I head to bed tonight (for those of you who periodically reside under rocks, today is Cyber Monday). And in this season of excess, I’ll be imbibing, sampling, and staying up too late in an attempt to get too much done. Then I’ll be detoxifying from all the spirits and sweet stuff in January with the rest of you.
But today, and for the remainder of the season, I am striving for balance. Knowing that I will probably have reason to get stressed out and carried away a few (or a thousand) times during the remaining 34 days of 2011, I will strive to implement the same strategies that my preschooler uses:
Take a deep breath. Calm down. Ask a question.
Is this something for which I should have concern? Is this something I really need? Or really need to do? What other options do I have?
As I strive for balance, I naturally breathe more. I love the calmness of mind that silence practice and solo running bring to me. It never fails: if I take fifteen minutes to sit in silence, I appreciate the little things more, and worry less about the big stuff. If I take an hour to run, slowly and centered, I return home having moved toward equilibrium and away from distress.
Knowing these things work, I strive to employ them more frequently during this busiest time of the year.
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Visit Just.Be.Enough. ( http://www.justbeenough.com/)
this week for the chance to win one of two Striivs that they will be giving away this week.
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This week’s prompt was: What are you striving for?
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Next week’s prompt: The best present…