This past week has been very scary for anyone living in Southern California with all of the fires burning around us. There has been so much devastation in such a short amount of time… It puts all of my trivial problems into perspective. If we had to evacuate, what would I take? What do I really care about? I look around my house and think: we have so much stuff that we don’t need or that doesn’t really matter. [Sidenote: Marie Kondo writes an incredible book all about simplifying which you can find here.] I could go on and on about literal stuff, but what I keep coming back to is my legacy: what do I want to leave behind in life—and specifically in this season?
I have been talking about it a lot, but this time of year I feel so much extra stress. We are all blessed with so much yet we are so good at practicing being miserable. We need to focus on the good. I want to be a glass-half-full kind of gal. I think in order to do that, you have to feel good for no reason and look for the good in every situation. Have you ever heard the saying “it takes more energy to hate than to love?” Well, I feel the same about being positive. It takes more energy to focus on the negative than the positive. And it just takes more out of us period. But who can blame us with all of the pressure to be perfect especially around the holidays when stress is magnified?
SO, how do we change our perspective?
Lowering our expectations. You’re going to be miserable if your expectations are too high… in business, marriage, children… EVERYTHING. We can’t expect that other people will live up to the same standards as ourselves. If we live like that, we will find ourselves constantly disappointed.
Do something. Pick a project. Something you feel passionate about. And/or Make a list of the top things you want to do this season. Mine include: taking the kids ice skating, driving around and looking at lights, baking cookies & watching Christmas movies… Find your “zen” place. Where is your safe place you can go to zone out and recharge? The way I reboot this time of the year is being home; warm, in my sweats… sipping hot chocolate, playing board games with my kids, making cookies, ordering take out…
Being deliberate. Be half-full (instead of half-empty). Joyce Meyer once said, “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” When we focus on negative things, how can we ever see the blessings in our lives? Reside in a grateful heart. Choose joy.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself grace. So what if your house doesn’t look like a magazine spread? Who are you really trying to please? The only person that matters is Jesus. This season is about Him, after all
Let it go.
Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. You don’t have to be perfect. I just encourage you (and myself) to be present.