You Have Permission to Slow Down

You Have Permission to Slow Down
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How are you feeling?

I mean really?

In your bones, in your head, in that (hopefully) happy heart of yours?

Deep breaths and think about it.

How are you feeling?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and to be honest I’m really not feeling it. If you are feeling the same way, I have a little bit of advice for you. Even if you aren’t feeling that way, I have some advice for you, because I am in an advice-giving mood.

Do what you can do. Slow down if you need to slow down.

Are you ready to make a big Thanksgiving meal? Looking forward to dealing with the family? Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? How’s your budget for this month? What about next month? Greeting cards picked out and ready to send? Got your tree yet? Decorations? Invitations for that holiday party sent out? Ready to wrap presents? Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet?

This time of the year is pretty crazy.

Let me be perfectly honest here, I’m not a big holiday celebrate-er. Due to numerous reasons, which I am sure to talk about at some point, I don’t participate in any family functions. I spend the holidays all by my lonesome (which I’m mostly okay with, most of the time, I do have my moments). I’ve tried spending it with friends and that just makes me feel like an outsider, and I’ve also tried to do something big by myself and that just made me feel disappointed.

The last few years I’ve done what I can do.

Which usually involves letting Thanksgiving and Christmas be normal days. I can be thankful whenever I want, and giving gifts? I give them all year round to the people that I really love. Sometimes I put up a tree, and sometimes I don’t. Most of my actual gifts at this time of the year are gift cards, greeting cards are facebook messages, and my holiday dinners are sandwiches or oven-baked pizza.

Why are my holidays to simplified and minimalistic?

Because that’s what nourishes me, or rather, that’s what I can do before it starts to get stressful and overwhelming. The holidays (despite all of those pesky marketing ploys) is not about pleasing other people.

It’s about being happy, and being thankful, and celebrating the magic of life and the people you love.

That doesn’t come with a price tag and a bag of stress and overwhelm.

I wish we’d all remember that a little bit more. So this year, do what you can do. Don’t turn yourself into a stressed out ball of gunk just to live up to some ideal family portrait. A big turkey dinner with all the fixin’s and polished silverware at a nicely table-clothed table, would be wonderful, but there’s nothing wrong with sitting in the living room eating pizza out of a box, talking, laughing, and watching movies with the family. Your kids might not look back and see traditional, but they’ll probably see a happy mom and dad.

Do what fills you up.

If it fills you up to bring out the nice linen and wake up at the crack of dawn to start the turkey (one of my favorite childhood memories) and you take joy and satisfaction from feeding everyone your delicious food, then do it and enjoy every single moment of it!

Do what fills you up.

This week finds me working six days straight, including Thanksgiving and the crazy sales starting at five in the morning the day after, and you know what? I’m okay with it because I am slowing down. I am napping. I am vegging. I am savoring all of the slow quiet moments of life. I am letting go of needing to spend my days filling up other people’s cups. I am filling up my own (and it feels good).

I am doing what I can.

This is me, wishing you, a Happy Thanksgiving! (I might not pop in again until the Thanksgiving Craziness, but know this: I loooooooove you!)

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