I know many of you are feeling what I am feeling right now.....that weird conflicting emotion about the holiday break being over. It's back to school, work, early mornings, late nights, chaos and the stress of juggling your own and your family's crazy schedules. Added stressors are the pressure and guilt that come from thinking about what we really should've done more of this weekend in terms of putting away gifts that are still under the tree, taking down decorations, doing laundry and preparing for a crazy week. So I pause for a moment, regroup and reconfigure how I look at it all, because that's what I do to help myself. Hopefully, I can help you as well.
Over the last few days after returning from a wonderful week in Colorado, I had ample opportunity to get in there and work hard at putting up all the gifts, taking down all the decorations and cleaning out the fridge overflowing with outdated holiday treats. But instead I chose to get up leisurely, lounge in bed with a plethora of animals walking over my husband and me, have long coffee talks with my family, chances to spend time with my children, play with my pets, and just enjoy these precious interactions. One last time for awhile to just "be," to soak it all in and to "breathe." All that "stuff" that "needed" to get accomplished? It's just stuff, and it always gets done. The relationship parts? Well, that won't always wait for you if you put it aside because you are busy with "stuff."
So take care of yourself this week! Don't try to overdo it in an effort to stay one step ahead of the madness, because it's not worth it. Cherish the memories you built over the holiday break, cherish the relationships, and let the "stuff" go. When you do get everything back in order (it doesn't have to happen in one day, by the way), remember that it's just really a change of venue and the start of new adventures with your friends and family. Not an ending, but just a transition. Approach it with anticipation and enthusiasm, not fear or dread! There is always something exciting and new on our horizons. Embrace! Be happy! Love your life!
In the spirit of this concept, I was asked by a dear friend recently what matters most to me. She is bravely facing some issues and transforming herself, so she asked me, "What should I focus on in 2014?" Here was my reply:
1. Inner Serenity: This is more important than anything else. If we do not have a basic sense of "being okay" with who we are, no matter what is going on in our lives, it is impossible to be happy.
2. Positive Relationships: Having people in our lives who love and accept us unconditionally, nonjudgmentally, who support and encourage us, is critical to happiness.
3. Health - Physical, Emotional, Spiritual: All are equally important. We need to be healthy in our bodies, in our minds, and in our hearts.
4. Balance: Work hard, but play hard. Eat right, but don't deprive yourself of that piece of chocolate or glass of wine. Moderation is key to being happy and staying grounded.
5. Humor: Laugh, every day! Laugh at yourself. Life isn't meant to be somber and serious all the time. It's meant to be fun and enjoyable.
6. Tenderness: Be kind, be compassionate, be gentle towards others, and toward yourself as well.
7. Selflessness/Generosity: The greatest rewards in life are intrinsic. Give freely, with no expectation in return.
8. Humility: Be a humble, simple person at your core. Be real with yourself and with others.
So as you go into this new year, remember what matters most. Remember it and live it.