Surviving the Holidays!

18 Dec

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Raise your hand if you are overwhelmed! Or, throw up the Vulcan “Live long and prosper” hand signal, if you are SO busy with the holidays that you might perish from an exploding brain! (Please reference above photo).

Yes, that is me….doing a nerdy Star Trek move on live television.

To be clear, I was not in my right mind yesterday. Since I serve on the board of Borromeo Housing Inc., a local non-profit in Arlington that supports young mothers and their children, I volunteered to help with a feature that NBC4 did on BHI for their “Twelve Days of Giving” program. It was a fantastic way to raise awareness and funds for BHI, and I am always proud to be a part of this FANTASTIC program!

But, the fact remains that I was so all over the place yesterday that I got caught goofing off when I thought the cameras were not on me. I did try to play it off by pretending to “fix” my hair, but let’s be honest, this just looks blatant.

I am SO overwhelmed by the holidays! And I know that if you are a normal human, you probably are too! So, I figured I would write a blog that may help ALL of us to put things into perspective.

I am a very organized person. I label everything in my house. I label everything in other people’s houses. I have labeled my husband. If you are familiar with the show “Friends”, I am Monica Gellar (but I secretly want to be Rachel Green). I used to send Christmas cards at the end of November. I used to write up my thank you notes before an event even happened. I used to actually fold the laundry that I do daily, instead of creating a mountain of laundry in our guest room that I have to dig through daily just to find something appropriate to wear to work or the gym. To be honest, the only motivation I have to fold that laundry is when Erica sleeps at our house on Monday nights. Last night, we even had our own Christmas miracle when I spent 2 hours folding 7 loads of laundry until 12:30am.

What happened to me? Why have I still not sent out Christmas cards when we are now 7 days away? Why did I not send out thank you notes until 11 MONTHS after my wedding? The answer is simple: I grew up. I got busy.

The holidays are supposed to be a time that are spent with family, a time where we take a break from the crazy just to be with our loved ones. My husband and I got so caught up in how crazy everything has been lately, that we weren’t even planning on being able to visit either of our families…..until yesterday, when we decided that our priorities were all wrong.

We are a family that is focused, first and foremost, on family. We both own small businesses. We both do CrossFit. I have two jobs. I am a bridesmaid in THREE weddings in the next 10 months, and we are thinking about having kids sometime in the near future (yeah, right. This may have to wait a bit! Who are we kidding?).

I am a slave to my cell phone. My job is such that I need to be available nearly every hour of the day, and while I do my best to do that for the sake of my business, it also puts my family life in jeopardy. I have been accused, even on public forums, of being non-responsive (my response to this is that when the power goes out for 14 days in your office, I can’t return phone calls….or sometimes it takes me 2 hours to respond to an email when I am at my nanny job), but I am far from non-responsive.

For the past two years, my business has become my life. It takes up 90% of my day, with sleeping coming in at 5%, and my family coming in at a measly 5%. Yes, these percentages are an exaggeration, but again, my priorities have been off lately.

That is until Drew and I decided to reclaim our lives. Balance has always been a big struggle for me in life, because if I decide to do something, then I am going to do it the right way. I like to think that I am selfless, so my challenge to everyone this holiday season is to be a little selfish!

Don’t spend hours laboring over which Christmas card you’re going to send. Send an e-card! Don’t spend hours perfectly wrapping Christmas presents. Who cares if they don’t look like they can be in a Pottery Barn ad?! Don’t spend days, or even weeks, deciding on that PERFECT gift to get someone. Odds are, they won’t even like it, so get them a gift card. If people know you well enough and know you care, they will be happy that you even thought of them enough to get them a simple present.

Go to the gym! And then come home and eat another Christmas cookie! The time for making big changes to your life is New Years, so let’s all enjoy the Holiday Season. Let’s take breaks from work, but let’s focus on really working hard during the hours we DO work. Let’s put the iPhone down for a few hours and just sit in front of the fire and drink hot cocoa…..

Or if you’re Drew and I, let’s sit on the couch looking at our pile of laundry and drink expired milk, because that is all we have in our fridge these days 😉

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Note: PLEASE ALSO DONATE ANYTHING YOU CAN TO BORROMEO HOUSING INC. THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! Every dollar counts J Here are links to the donation page, as well as link to the segment on NBC4.

http://borromeohousing.org/donate/

First Segment (If you look really hard, you may see some weird-o signal Planet Vulcan): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151169986387045

Second Segment: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151169993587045

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