I love Christmas time. Christmas time is my favorite. Love, lights, family, food, gifts... who doesn't love all of that?
There have definitely been years when Christmas time was NOT my favorite.
Those years when every weekend (and many weeknights) in December was booked to the brim with activity... I didn't handle those well. Partly because I am a pretty extreme introvert, but mostly because busyness brings out my anxiety symptoms to the max.
Not all activities were stressful, and most were very fun. But, inevitably, no matter how much fun, I felt the effects of anxiety symptoms at some point which tires me out. Think of the state your body gets in when you are say... being chased by a bear. That fight or flight state kept up for long periods of time is exhausting.
So, if there is too much activity and little time to process and recover, I can pretty much guarantee I will end up a complete mess which is no fun to be around for Christmas.
The inability to handle lots of activity is something I have learned about myself the hard way over the last few years. It used to embarrass me, and I would never had shared that with anyone.
Because, let's face it, in our culture, we glorify busy.
How many conversations start like this:
"Hey! How are you?"
"Good... busy, really busy."
Sometimes we are so busy that we don't even have time to talk about our busyness. No wonder the average person feels ten fold the anxiety that anyone felt even fifty years ago.
What does that busyness get us? For me, busyness brings stress and anxiety and an intense longing to just "be" at home. I hear that so much from busy people. The longing to not be busy.
In the last four years, since Gwenyth was born, my husband and I have decided to take control of our busyness. Did you know you can do that?!
We started saying NO.
Even to really good things.
We are very thoughtful and particular about where we invest our time, and it doesn't always please all the people : /
Don't get me wrong. We do stuff. Mike and I direct a choir. We host our small group. Gwenyth takes ballet lessons, etc., but we leave plenty of time for breathing in our lifestyle.
This Christmas season has been the most peaceful I have had in years. I am relishing in it!
Some people thrive on activity. I actually have people in my life that say, "I'm hardly ever home, but I love it!" That is awesome for them.
But, if you are are longing for a night at home... maybe you need to re-think your lifestyle. You might need to say no to some things, even if you really enjoy it. Think about life in seasons; it has helped me.
I so often feel this mindset of "it has to be now." I know there is a certain beauty to living in the moment, like today is your last, but in reality, it's probably not my last day to live. I anticipate a long life ahead of me. There IS time to do things. We don't have to do everything now.
So in this Christmas season, make sure that busyness isn't stealing your joy!
What about you? Are you feeling peace and joy? What are some things that you are saying no to in this season of your life that you know you will be able to say yes to in the future? Comment below and start a conversation.