Working Together On Life's Issues

Holiday Thoughts

You must be the change that you wish to see in the world. - Ghandi

Holiday Thoughts

I guess I was just antsy. I was feeling rather stressed over holiday preparation; presents to purchase and make; family gatherings; never enough time to complete everything; and all the usual day-to-day type stuff that makes life both interesting and trying. So I decided to play a little hooky from work and treat myself to some time at the beach.

I don’t know what it is about that ocean climate—the smell of sea salt on the breeze; the wind blowing my hair; or the sun on my face—but it sure helped me to get out of my grand funk. If I could only bottle this and sell it, I would make a fortune.

I so often hear people discussing that they are married to their work. They have such high ambitions that they have forgotten an important component to success is relaxation and play. Our bodies are just not built to work 12 hours a day without doing something special and necessary for our psyche.

We get caught up in the daily grind that we forget to enjoy the flavor of the brew and the aroma of the coffee. We ignore our five senses. We become complacent. We take life’s little joys and miracles for granted.

Perhaps, as the New Year dawns, this is a nice time to stop and take into account those things for which we are thankful. You can begin by taking out a calendar and arranging a date with yourself for each of these last days of the year—being thankful that you are considerate to your needs.

What do I mean by this? I believe it is important to honor ourselves with a bit of rest and relaxation. Our bodies, minds, and spirits need these to rejuvenate. Begin by apportioning time in each day to do something special for you—even if it means allocating just five or 10 minutes to enjoy a coffee drink, take a stroll, struggle with a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, listen to a favorite CD, meditate or do self-hypnosis. Then increase the time by five minute increments.

In the course of this “date,” be sure to remind yourself of your wonderful qualities—those talents that are unique to you. A few positive affirmations go a long way toward adding to your self-comfort. Some suggestions for positive thoughts might be: I’m a good listener. I’m a thoughtful and caring person. I’m a good mom (dad, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, etc.). I am nice (charming, talented, capable, responsible, honest, trustworthy, generous, ad infinitum). I make great chocolate chip cookies! I’m sure you get the picture. You will be amazed as to how much better you will feel. A smile definitely helps.

Next, take an inventory of your possessions and put a dollars-and-cents sign to them. A list might look something like this: I have (now don’t laugh) good health--$5; health insurance--$2; a roof over my head--$1; TV sets—20 cents each; friends—50 cents each; CDs and DVDs—20 cents each; an I-Pod—20 cents; a job I like--$2; heating and air conditioning—50 cents; a washer and/or dryer—50 cents each; aunts and uncles—50 cents each; nieces and nephews—50 cents each; a loving and caring partner/spouse--$3; children--$2 each. I know you can add to this list if you stop and think.

When you are finished being thankful, total your “thankfulness inventory,” and mail in the dollar amount to your favorite charity. Increase your happiness and joy by helping others to be thankful as well.

Wishing you a heartwarming and healthy holiday season and New Year.