Today, I’m sharing my approach to the holiday season and taking it at a slower pace. Then I’m sharing some encouragement about the new year. I hope you are able to take some time this season to simply enjoy life.
I am so thankful for the bounty of wonderful things this holiday season. We’ve been enjoying it so much this year. We have been blessed with an abundance of family time, seasonal activities, festive decorating, and tasty food.
That’s also why you may notice me posting a little less over the next couple of weeks. That’s because it is my time to rest.
When I was working in education, I quickly fell in love with (and later kept) the tradition of taking two weeks off from work during the holidays. I know that most people can’t swing this long vacation each and every year. But if you can, do it.
For me it’s a time to recharge. To rest my busy mind from all the planning, the writing and editing, the recipe testing and photoshoots, and the marketing/social media that go into running a blog. (Not to mention all the backend tech work!)
You may only see 2-3 posts that I post per week that take maybe 5 minutes each to read. But what you don’t see are the hours and hours of work that go into the creation of each post. It’s a lot of work, way more than I anticipated. I love it, but even content creators need rest too. Whether you enjoy the work you do or not, work is work.
For me, this time of year means I step away for a short time to rejuvenate and come back feeling a little more refreshed. (And also with some more content ideas for you.) It means more time for myself, my family, and my husband. It means exploring my hobbies more, focusing on my mental and physical health, education, relaxation, and family togetherness, all with the hope of cracking open a good book somewhere in the middle of this.
I value this time and take rest very seriously. It’s something I will always hold strong boundaries for and never apologize about.
But even if you can’t take time away from work to this extent, I encourage you to try to put other projects on hold during this time of year. Just to allow yourself to slow down. To allow your body and mind more time and space to do what you enjoy, at your own pace.
I hope you’re able to gather around your cozy home with friends and family. To take the time to prepare a well thought out meal to enjoy over long conversation, unrushed. To embrace the idea of unhurried time so you can stay present with loved ones, yourself, and your higher power.
My wish is that we all come back after the holidays with a renewed sense of purpose.
The new year…
One thing I love about Christmas is that it comes right before the new year begins. It allows us all time to celebrate with our family and community, and allows many of us to reconnect spiritually.
It also gives us a little more time to look back on the past year and look forward to a new one.
One thing I’m not so fond of is the pressure to make the coming year better than the last one (or any previous years, really). It can feel nice to have a “blank slate” and begin making plans and goals for the coming year… But it can also be incredibly frustrating if we aren’t realistic or don’t set ourselves up for success. (It’s also humbling to remember that most of us don’t actually follow through with most of the goals we set…)
Many of the high expectations we place on ourselves on January 1st can fizzle out pretty quickly. I’ve observed this with myself and others.
I personally find that the goals I do end up accomplishing happen because I don’t wait until January 1st. I just jump in and start. This has been true with practically everything I’ve accomplished whether it was professional, creative, a personal health goal, or with our home renovation journey.
Instead of focusing on a million big goals for next year, focus on what you can do right now. Focus on what you can do to push the needle forward toward whatever goals you have for your future.
You can begin that today.
Whether that’s starting to exercise again or reading a certain number of pages each day…
Maybe you just want to begin writing again or start cooking dinner meals more often. Or maybe you just want to finally start flossing your teeth each and every day (I conquered this goal several years ago and it has stuck).
Whatever it is, though, start it now. Even if it is just doing something small that can contribute to that larger, long-term goal.
So there you have it. That is my advice for this week. I didn’t want to write out a how-to post or a recipe or any inspiring decorating tips at this moment. I just wanted to share my outlook on celebrating the holidays and some encouragement for starting the new year… It just felt more authentic for me.
If there is one thing you take away from me this week it is this: Rest so you don’t quit.
Allow yourself the time to get inspired and reinvigorated. Allow space to reflect. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Plan for the future, but start doing now instead of waiting. If you truly want something, you won’t be able to stand waiting anyway.
Whatever your plans are, whatever your holiday season looks like this year, I hope you enjoy it. Enjoy yourself and get excited for the next chapter.