You know what Pinterest Can't capture or summarize? and it's the most important thing of all? The parents who do less and enjoy more. Who are so taken with the special moments they don't reach for the camera. November asks us to focus on what truly matters.. our hearts and our homes. Recharging now, reflect and plan to ditch the STUFF that gets in the way, to make room for those precious moments!
Just let go.
What "stuff" can be skipped this year?
Plan your next two months as a family and just say 'no' to over commitment. Feel you should go to the party but know it will be an added stress? Invite them to a January visit when you decline their party. You will likely have a deeper visit anyway.
There are a few ways to skip stuff..
worrying less (plan, delegate, problem solve, and make lists)
Worry is a good thing at first. It acts as a signal that we have two or more potential outcomes that could be problematic or that a lot is at stake. This needs one or both actions... a plan or faith. If we do neither our brain may get stuck in a worry loop. not good. We need out! asking a friend to listen as you talk your way into a plan. This can work really well, so long as they listen and don't try to solve all your problems for you. That's your job. And it's not like you don't know what you need, it's just figuring a workable way to get there that is the tuff bit!
If you don't have a friend to listen and nod along with your planning, grab a pen. Lists can help us in the same way. make lots and then take a break. come back and rewrite them in to better order, grouping them in ways that help you. Your subconscious knows what it wants and help you figure out what's best.
So do your loved ones! they want to help you do what's best for you, even if they don't act much like it. there's nothing like asking for help in a calm and empowered way to get some assistance!
doing less (saying no to work, obligations, travel, and even the kids!)
Really ask everyone in your family what they would get out of each engagement so you can flag ones that score a 9 out of 10, saving much needed energy for the must do activities, and no activities, like watching logs burn in a fireplace or soaking in the tub.
There is nothing wrong with traveling every other year, think hard if icy holliday roads are really necessary! There is alway Easter to plan a makeup trip, once the weather is milder.
Buying less (shifting the focus from what we want to what we and others NEED)
Baking cookies can both entertain the children and provide gifts when you go visiting. Lets not worry about giving the perfect gift or fancy wrapping, its the love that lasts.
Plastic tree tinsel that gets everywhere? the kids can cut and glue paper gralends that are compostable and recyclable.
Plastic bows and paper all over on Boxing Day? Try for decorative fabric that can be reused, year after year! Find some at a craft store or reclame fancy fabric from a thrift store. Decorative ribbons can be used over and over too, for tying them up. they will costs more this year but you never need to buy Christmas wrapping paper again!
Its free to trim branches from a Cedar hedge for indoor decorations, sure they make a bit of a mess but they smell wonderful and deter pests.
Skip an expensive tradition and challenge your family to pitch in and buy a goat or some chickens for a family in need on the other side of the world instead. Everyone loves to give, they just need a leader to inspire them.
Find a local petting zoo you can bring clean vegetable scraps to, for the animals to eat. Makes 2 feasts out of one and saves you the bag tag cost to throw it away.
And owning less (showing our homes and families tough love by getting unnecessary thing OUT of the house)
If kids offer resistance to cleaning up the fact stands that they really don't need all their toys and are free to donate, sell, give, or toss!
Strip a closet now and then, filling bins with off season clothes and chucking worn out ones, and filling a bag of clothes that don't fit or bring you joy. There is nothing like the feeling of a fresh closet!
Hold on to yourself and loved ones
We cling to things and traditions and both are important. But the truth stands that human connection is what makes the season glow.. or ache. We miss those who are not gathered around the dinner table this year and savor magical childhood memories of special time with grandparent and cousens.
If we put our own care and needs ahead of the chaos, we will find the energy to make special memories, join in the fun and be silly.
Let's plan for a December when we do NOT burn out just to make things perfect, but focus on the perfect moments that come when we are Present, and that starts with a solid plan and lots of rest in November.