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,

**ibid, December 19,2016

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 21, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon,, “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


9 thoughts on “Holiday Sanity

  1. Saw your comment on another site about Gregg Braden. I’m a fan of his philosophy too. Enjoyed this article and will be back to your blog – pennymasonpublications

    1. Thank you, Penny. I’ve been on a blog hiatus for some time while working on a book that should be out by Christmas. I have a blog in mind to write, hopefully this weekend, and get restarted on blogging, a project I so much enjoy.
      Have a wonderful holiday and keep listening to Gregg. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back to his teachings.

  2. Nice message, as always, Sharon! The end of this year has held two big surprises for me. I hope I have responded well to them. I decided to experience this holiday season as a celebration of life. My overall resulting feeling has been gratitude. Thank you for your work of encouragement and counsel to others.Talk to you soon!

  3. Dear Sharon,
    First of all, Merry Christmas. If anyone deserves it, you do. As for me, well… that’s another issue. Being a Grinch in spirit and a Curmudgeon in reality, the celebration of Christ’s birth can be a spotty experience for my nature. Shopping and Eating seems so much easier.
    I need to make a disclaimer, I am not a Christian. But I cannot think of a nicer holiday than Christmas. It’s a faith in a Faith that has inspired Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s cantatas, the meditative Gregorian chants, art from the likes of Michelangelo and Grunewald, and the enduring story of the Bible. The MOVIES? NAH.
    BUT…I did notice that your essay focused on all the problems concurrent with the Happy Holidays celebration that has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Whether we are believers or not, it’s worth at least once a year reviewing that story and its meanings. I avoided all the shopping and food anxieties, and wrote checks to charities. If I had kids, I would have helped them instead.
    Peace on Earth, and Goodwill to all. If you believe in gratitude, which I know you do, Christmas is a celebration of Grace not Commerce, we might be wiser being thankful for living within our borders, not being born in Aleppo or Somalia, health; the gratefulness list is exceptional regardless that we’re all slated to die.
    Happy Holidays and oh, Merry Christmas, too.

    1. Thank you, Linda. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed this time of year. I worry about you having to keep tabs on so many people, but also know that you are strong and can do what you need to do.

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