Today I'm going to share a story I'm calling "Sasha's First Holiday Rebellion".
Back in my 20s I was partnered with a woman who was both highly extroverted and loved the holiday season--to be honest we both did. We always had a decorated tree that we invited friends over to decorate with us. We went to parties, spent time with our families and generally enjoyed the colorful fun of the season.
But one year, all the visiting and spending time with others just burnt me out. After cooking two holiday dinners myself to entertain family and friends, my lovely partner volunteered me to cook for her cousins who were visiting her family. Don't get me wrong, these were lovely people AND I love to cook but I noticed that every I thought about it my entire body felt like I as wearing a lead suit. I just couldn't face another evening of cooking and socializing. I needed a break!
I chose to not go. I gave my partner a recipe card for my beef stew recipe and told her she could call me if she needed advice but I was going nowhere that evening. She wasn't happy about it and her family wondered "what's wrong with Sasha" but they got over it.
I don't remember exactly what I did with my evening but I believe it included putting my feet up and watching a movie. All I know is that when I think back on it my body relaxes a little and I breath a sigh of relief.
Just recently a good friend told me how she turned down a family plan to travel on Thanksgiving in favor of relaxing at home. This made me smile A LOT.
Sometimes the best thing you can give yourself is a vacation from the Holiday. There might be some resistance at first, but when people see you are serious about taking care of your own peace and well being, they often will follow your lead which will create a more peaceful season for everyone.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Hey Peeps, I sent this out to my mailing list and thought it was worth sharing more broadly. Just in case you are running hard trying to make everyone happy.
I love to cook and I especially love making Thanksgiving dinner. I love it so much that in the past I was quite willing to do my one woman act for my family like I was some kind of circus performer. Never mind I didn't get to actually visit with my family or really enjoy sitting down to dinner. I had a center stage position to maintain! Also, I didn't need any stinkin' help! I can DO IT ALL!
Do you find yourself in this position ever? Where you are just the center of some activity and loving the attention but just on the verge of collapse because if you admit in even the smallest way that the task is tiring you out (even with all the recognition) you will loose everyone's (love, respect, awe...).
Well, I found myself in that exact spot. After several years of creating unique menus that included things like chestnut soup shooters and gorgieres, multiple desserts and unique takes on traditional recipes I found myself burning out. I was just exhausted thinking about the menu. Never mind the cleaning, table decor etc.
(I just didn't want to disappoint anyone).
Only a couple years ago I took a risk and asked my sister to bring a pumpkin pie. The next year, I toned down the menu. This year, Keri is doing all the appetizers.
The weird thing is I don't think anyone is really noticing that these other elements aren't there. Or that I'm not doing everything. And perhaps my effort is appreciated even when I give up a little control.
What about you? Is there something you really dread that you possibly could risk farming out or just dropping all together?
Here is a tiny challenge. Find one thing that you think that you absolutely must do that you are dreading (it doesn't have to be around Thanksgiving or the holidays by the way) and DON'T DO IT. If it must be done, give it to someone else. If it's optional, drop it. See what happens.
Then take a nap.