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


What a busy time of year this is!

Thoughts to Ponder – December 8, 2015

 “The best way to create more free time is to take it….

There isn’t anyone who can give it to you. Not even me.”

The Universe*

 What a busy time of year this is! We are bustling around baking cookies for this event or going to a concert. We’re trying to finish our holiday shopping, or even hoping to start it in the next few days. We’re cleaning the house for guests and putting up holiday decorations.

We worry if we should say, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” to be more inclusive of other faiths. We examine our budgets to learn what we can buy this year and who to buy for. We may just shop using our credit cards, having decided to defer our worries until January.

Whatever we are doing, we are often doing it until we are stressed. One song tells us, “It’s the hap-happiest time of the year.” Let’s be honest. Is that what we’re really feeling? Many of us are feeling stressed. We need a breather. Life isn’t going to hand us a day-off from work that most of us waste and use it to accomplish other tasks. We need to decide that we will take some time for ourselves. It doesn’t need to be a day of lounging at the spa. That would be nice though, wouldn’t it?

Many stores play holiday music to get us in the shopping mode. We can pause in the toys, televisions or tool section to listen to “Carol of the Bells” and breathe easier for a few minutes. Three minutes of listening and breathing will refresh us more than we can imagine. If we try, we can find time to read a few pages in a book or walk around the neighborhood quietly and enjoy our neighbors’ decorations.

Oprah summarized this thought when she said, “Whether you have a week to laze around or a 20-minute break between errands, I promise it is possible to relax.”**

This is true. We have to be willing to delay a task, turn off the television, computer and phone, go for a stroll, go to bed earlier, or make time to eat breakfast. The list goes on. We all have our own personal stressors and relaxers. Pick a relaxer that works for you and enjoy it.


You designed us to live in balance for a good reason, yet most of us have too many stressors in our lives. Thank you for giving us tasks to keep us busy and time to relax and regenerate our minds and bodies so we can live in balance.

And, so it is.

*, November 25, 2015

**O, the Oprah Magazine, July 2015

© by Sharon D. Dillon, December 8, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon,, “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by Available in print and e-format at