This time of year can be a chaotic mix of the best and worst of times. We might love the lights and decorations, but hate the shopping. Or we might love the idea of the season (no matter which year-end holiday we celebrate), but hate how much stress it adds to our lives.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do during chaos is take care of ourselves. We can treat ourselves to an extra present while shopping. Or we can set boundaries on others (or ourselves) to limit our stress.
In our writing lives, we might take advantage of the many end-of-year book sales to pick up a few for ourselves. Or we might look through my Ultimate Gift List and select something we want. Or at the very least, we can enter the many contests that run this time of year in hopes of winning ourselves a present.
The point is that we want to make sure we don’t forget our needs in the noise of so many others’ needs. Taking care of ourselves is necessary and good, and while we always deserve it, we especially do during this often-trying season.
Believe me, I know how much being nice to ourselves is important when life’s craziness strikes. *smile*
‘Tis the Season for…Chaos?
Those of you who follow me here or on social media know that I’ve had a rough few years.
I had several health issues all hit at once due to related and unrelated causes, from virtually being unable to walk to losing a piece of my jaw to an infection. More recently (as in, just last month), major flood damage has chased us out of most of our house while we’re waiting for the reconstruction (and waiting and waiting).
Through it all, I’ve managed to remain mostly positive. (I don’t get teased for being a Pollyanna for no reason. *smile*)
In the chaos of the season, don't forget your needs. Do something nice for yourself! Click To TweetMy health was slowly improving due to about a year of physical therapy and more surgeries than I can count. With our house, I’m trying to look on the bright side of getting all new carpeting and paint out of the damage.
But last week, I’d just had enough. For a couple months now, I’ve been trying to finish up the last of the procedures to get my teeth back as they should be. The first two times were failures, with the pieces not fitting as they should.
Okay, no worries. Third time would be the charm, right? It took three times to get my jaw rebuilt too, so there’s a precedent.
No such luck. The third attempt was last week, and not only did the procedure fail again, but my surgeon discovered a bigger problem, and we’re not quite sure what the cause is.
“Best” case scenario, the lab working on the tooth issue is using knockoff parts, defrauding everyone in a situation bound to end up in a lawsuit. Worst case scenario? My jaw has more issues.
*cue weeping in my mostly empty, flood-damaged house because I can’t take yet another thing*
Christmas Season? What’s That?
With all of that going on, the Christmas season has been a bust for us this year:
- Decorations? Um, we have no place to put them.
- Shopping? Right, with what time or brainpower when managing the bazillion insurance and reconstruction details is a major job on top of my other jobs?
- Christmas cards? *pfft* No.
- Christmas cookies? Well…
I’m known among family, friends, and neighbors for going all out with cookie baking before Christmas. Last year, the final tally was 873 cookies(!) that we shared with everyone, and the annual baking extravaganza is a major part of our family traditions.
But with the flood, I’ve been warning everyone that cookies might not happen this year. The kitchen is a disaster—despite a missing cabinet, it’s the least-damaged area of the house, so everything that couldn’t go into storage (like pantry essentials) got dumped there. Not to mention the mess of the construction itself, with insulation and drywall dust everywhere.
What’s Important to You?
Last night, my family and I decided that some things are important because everything else is so bad. No one cares about presents or decorations when things are bad, but cookies—and the family traditions that go with making them? That’s important. *grin*
What's important to you when things get bad? Find a way to reward yourself! Click To TweetSo our plan is to do a scaled-back version of our extravaganza this weekend, when the construction crews won’t be in the way. We’re also going to stick with bar cookies, so we won’t have to find room to set out lots of cookies to cool or spend time baking endless batches.
With the lack of shopping, cookies might be the main gift we give out this year. And that’s okay. We’ve decided what’s important to us, and we’re giving ourselves of gift of doing something we love without stressing over anything else. *smile*
What Can You Do for Yourself?
Obviously, the list of what’s important is going to look different for each one of us. We all have different priorities, traditions, challenges, and needs. But here are a few ideas…
- Enter the Advent Calendar for Writers Giveaway organized by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers for a chance to win yourself a present. Enter this week by the 19th!
All the prize drawings are open now —
including a chance to win one of my workshops!
- As I mentioned above, check out my Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers to see what you can get for yourself. Or pass on that list to someone else who needs ideas for you.
- Gift yourself the gift of time to do something enjoyable—whether that’s looking at lights, watching a Christmas movie, or getting away from the holiday hubbub.
- Set yourself up for a strong New Year, whether that’s finishing up projects to start fresh or accelerating your writing craft with workshops or other resources.
- And I wouldn’t be a book-lover if I didn’t mention that we could read a book (such as, oh, a romance novel with a guaranteed happy ending *wink*).
Do you agree that we need to ensure we’re taking care of our needs too, especially during tough times? Do you need to do something nice for yourself? Do any of these bullet points spark thoughts of what you could do? Do you have other ideas to add to the list?Pin It