Holiday Sanity

Thoughts to Ponder

 “If you long for the world to be a saner, more loving place,

please be advised that you must start inside.

Care for your sick, anxious, exhausted self as lovingly

as you want to care for every suffering thing.”

*Martha Beck

This is such a busy time of year. Many holiday events keep us busy, so busy we often feel frazzled rather than joyful. We want to attend special holiday programs, spend extra time with our families, buy gifts for everyone who has graced our lives this year, decorate our houses, cook bountiful holiday meals with all the traditional foods and enjoy the loving spirit of the season.

Whew! Can really do all that? We try. Then feelings of inadequacy begin to creep into our psyches. We begin to criticize ourselves for not being up to the gigantic tasks we set for ourselves. We’ve pushed our bodies and our minds beyond what they were intended to do. How can we enjoy the holidays when we are exhausted and stressed?

Perhaps it’s time to remember that we are called human BEINGS rather than human DOINGS for a reason. This is the time when we must do as Beck suggests and care for ourselves “as lovingly as you want to care for every suffering thing.” Our Higher Power wants us to enjoy life, to be healthy, happy and sane. How do we accomplish this seemingly impossible task? How do we take care of everyone and ourselves too?

Beck answers this in her December 19th message:

“One little thing. Just do one little thing. The first one little thing is to get a piece of paper and write down ALL THE THINGS. Then eat ice cream or pie, for purposes of recovery. Then decide on the most pressing one of ALL THE THINGS, and do one little thing about it.”

Sounds simple, yet in our complex world this can be very hard to do. We don’t know how to choose the most pressing activity. We have to finish gift shopping, buy groceries at the last minute so nothing is stale or wilted, do laundry so we all look good at the concert, fix a treat for the office party and on and on and on.

Perhaps the most pressing thing is to read a story with our child, or tell our spouse that we are glad that he or she is in our lives. Or just maybe the most pressing thing is to take a nap and awaken refreshed. We can only decide for ourselves what is most important. No one else can make that decision for us.

Spirit: Thank you for bringing this valuable lesson to our attention when we need it most. We are finite humans, not the super heroes we perceive ourselves to be. Yet by taking care of ourselves and trusting that with You all things are possible, we can often do heroic deeds – one moment at a time. And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Martha’s Daily Inspiration, December 8, 2016, info@marthabeck.com

**ibid, December 19,2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 21, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as a paperback or e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.img_0686

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Gratitude without platitude

Thoughts to Ponder

 “… When you receive, not only do you affirm your own worthiness

and open the way for more,

but you make possible greater joys for the giver….

*The Universe

So many holidays this time of year can lead to stress or to joy. That choice is entirely up to us. We start the season with Halloween and giving candy to Trick or Treaters. While we’re still eating the leftovers we’re shopping for Thanksgiving. We cook for days and dinner dishes aren’t finished yet when stores begin their Black Friday sales. From then on, preparing for all the winter gift giving opportunities keeps us on our toes, trying to avoid traffic jams at the malls, watching the ads for sales and telling the kids that, “That expensive toy may not be in Santa’s budget this year.”

Each winter we have Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years, all gift giving and receiving opportunities. We go to store after store looking for perfect gifts. Some of us actually started craft projects months ago. Either way we are putting a lot of thought and effort into our gifting opportunities.

We should put just as much effort into our receiving opportunities. This is not to say we should heap flatteries over an unwanted item. But we should recognize that the giver made an effort to find something we’d like and acknowledge that. One example of not receiving graciously is my mother who was taught to be a humble receiver. Humble is good, degrading yourself is not.

No matter what I gave her it was too much and/or too expensive. After years of her denigrating herself as well as my gifts, I said, “Mom, you take all the fun out of giving.” To her question of how, I replied that each birthday and Christmas I tried to find the perfect gift. Each time she said it was too much. Her negative comments made me wonder why I tried so hard to please her. After a moment of silence, she responded, “My friend told me last week that I take the blessing out of giving.” I said, “Your friend is correct. Can you just say thank you and stop there?”

Can we, each of us, offer sincere gratitude for gifts received without extraneous commentary? That is unless the gift is really fantastic. In that situation we can bubble over with complimentary adjectives.

I must admit that bit of wisdom did not originate with me. After years of saying that gifts were “too much” a friend gave me that same talk. Fortunately, I listened to her advice and years later my mom listened to mine.

Spirit: You shower us with gifts every day and we express our gratitude by thanking you for the new day, new opportunities, trees, flowers, grass, birds, animals and more. We know that you freely give those gifts that we can never earn. We express our gratitude by enjoying those gifts. We can we do no less in our personal interactions. And, so it is.

*A Note from the Universe, www.tut.com, December 2, 2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 2, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as a paperback or e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.