The last week or so has been very, very hectic. I went to funerals, parties, cantatas and plays. I ran errands to pick up everything from dried beans to passing party gifts to warm gloves and winter hats for the wee ones. I made sure the kids had red shirts for their school programs. I made 23 Christmas gifts for the people who work with my children when they're at school and for the staff at their doctor's office. I mailed out our Christmas cards. I had to drive into town so many times I lost count. I've officially been caught up in the whirlwind that is the pre-Christmas break rush. If you have kids in school, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about.
Holiday stress. Gotta love it.
Every year when Thanksgiving's passed and Christmas is on its way, I become unbelievably snippy, ready to pounce on the next poor person who has the misfortune of inadvertently interrupting my frenzied train of thought. You would think I'd be able to kick back and relax for Christmas, because I don't do big Christmases. Rather than buying hundreds of dollars worth of stuff we don't need, our family focuses on the celebration of the birth of Christ and the story of Nicholas of Myra (the inspiration for our modern-day Santa). Yet when Christmastime arrives, it never fails - my stress level hits the roof... then it bursts through the roof and continues its trajectory all the way to Mars. It comes back down around the time the kids head back to school in early January. Don't get me wrong, I look forward to Christmas... but something about it usually stresses me to the max! (I still say it's got to be the ridiculous amount of school craziness the holiday tends to bring.)
Although I have had my hands full, I've noticed something significant during the rush of the past week: I'm busy as a bee, but I am not stressed beyond belief! Sure, there's stress... there's always stress. But this year, I'm doin' alright. I'm handling it just fine and I've been able to actually relax (gasp!) during what little down-time I've had.
I can't help but wonder if this calm has anything to do with the fact that I have committed to being aware of myself and my surroundings and letting go of unrealistic expectations. I have a feeling that there's no way I could have maintained this level of "I can deal" had I not taken the challenge to find joy with the help of Angela Shelton and her 30-Day Healing Journey. I can't explain it. I'm barely halfway through the 30 days and already I can honestly tell a huge difference in my overall attitude. I was a generally positive person before I started this, but sometimes it felt kinda forced, like I was trying to look on the bright side but I didn't really believe it was there. Not anymore. This kind of peace doesn't just happen. I've found the bright side. I believe it comes from waking up every day and choosing to live joyfully. Let's just hope I can keep it up. Ha!
I'll be returning soon with my take on the remaining 14 days of the 30-Day Healing Journey, but today I want to say that I appreciate the well-wishes and prayers that I've received during my "hiatus" (I love that word). Thank you. I'd also like to take time to thank the 30-plus people who have decided to support me by following my blog through NetworkedBlogs on facebook and my 100 fabulous twitter followers and friends! I'm so glad to have your encouragement as I feel my way through this newly discovered purpose. You are amazing, wonderful, patient people and I thank God for each and every one of you.
Until next time... happy healing!
P.S. The laughing kid who can't stand still in the video is my son. Enjoy!