It’s been an insanely long time since I’ve blogged. I kept asking myself why and feeling kind of a self-imposed guilt about it. As I formulated my answer, I realized that we’ve been living through an incredible amount of change and stress in the last two months! We bought a new place, taking on a huge amount of mortgage debt. We moved. My husband got a new job (yay! No more driving an hour to work every day!). I prepared and directed several music concerts. We Christmas shopped in an incredibly short amount of time. We hosted holiday parties and attended others. I spent a few days in Chicago at a music conference. We traveled several hours and spent time with family over the holidays. And most recently, we have survived the snowmageddon in Charleston, SC that immobilized this city for a week! No wonder I haven’t been able to find the quiet place in my mind to think and write!
Through all of the aforementioned madness, here’s what I’ve learned:
Life is going to be crazy and we have to learn to rise above the crazy.
I already know that every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is going to be a crazy time for me. As a music teacher, during the holiday season, I know I am destined for the busiest time of the year. This year, we had a few added stresses that just happened to fall during this time as well. I braced for it, prepared some things ahead of time, and through it all, I reminded myself to breathe, try to live in the moment, and whatever didn’t get done or didn’t get done right away was ok. There were times when I had to rely on my husband or others to just handle things, and I took moments to myself. I had to learn to accept that things weren’t always going to get done the way I would have done them, but that it was ok.
Some things are more important than others.
There was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to be able to get everything done on my list during the holidays. I had to delete some things from my “to do” list, consolidate errands and sometimes change strategies (examples: I wanted to get this person such and such thing for Christmas, but I just can’t get there to get it so they are getting that thing instead; the gift exchange between my sister and brother-in-law and us became an after-Christmas exchange; some packages didn’t get nicely wrapped, and instead were sent via Amazon). Things that I knew I wouldn’t have time to do later, I did WAY in advance. Other things that I knew I could do but would have totally stressed me out, I asked for and accepted help (thanks Mom and Dad for your help with the Christmas Cantata reception!). It’s hard for me to ask for help, accept help when others offer, and to pare down carefully laid elaborate plans. But I did it, and it made a world of difference.
Take time to disconnect and breathe.
Despite the craziness, there were a few times when I put my phone on “do not disturb,” turned off my ipad, left my laptop at work, and just vegged. Sometimes it was just for a few minutes, other times for an entire afternoon or evening. I usually go non-stop until I literally drop from exhaustion and then have to live through the aftermath through illness. Not this time. Taking the time to center myself and breathe in the midst of the crazy was totally worth my sanity and mental peace.
So things are starting to settle down and get back to “normal,” whatever that is. So here’s to a new year, learning new things through the craziness, and to finding peace in the midst of it all!
Happy New Year!