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The stress of the holiday shuffle is over and it seems like the best time to start thinking about all I accomplished throughout the year as well as what I need to improve upon.  Since so much happened in 2011 and I had something very unexpected occur, it's also a good time for me to look at why I didn't see certain things that were right in my face.

The Main Holidays are over  

So the holidays are over and the New Year is soon upon us.  Recently I wrote about New Year's resolutions and how they do not necessarily always work for everyone, so today I'll start thinking about all of the above.  I do not set New Year's Resolutions but goals and actions to put into place as I do all year around.  I don't just do it for the New Year.  I will also be creating my Vision Board somewhere between December 31st and January 2nd.  This will be the first time my New Year's board is not a 'couples' board in three years, so it will be odd but good.

When I begin writing today I will have a few separate pages; titled "Everything I accomplished or did in 2011" "What do I need to change my strategies and actions taken in 2012 that are still on my board or list?", "What did I not pay attention to that was going on around me and could've nipped in the bud sooner and why?", "Where do I want to be by this time next year"? And so on and so on.

It's the most wonderful time of the year  

I found this year holidays can be disheartening. No matter who I spoke to everyone had different types of stresses they were dealing with. I knew I had to deal with my dad being gone and my husband not being with me for the holidays.  These were both two very difficult things.  The two men I loved the most were not here with me to celebrate what is called "The most wonderful time of the year".  That song actually made me feel down at times because I realized it's not always true if we don't make it true.  That's when I realized it's up to me to make it the way I want it to be.  What do I teach everyone else to do? Change their thoughts to change their lives – right?  So, I did the same as much as humanly possible.  I created the way I wanted my days to be with or without them.  That is not meant to sound harsh but true.

Family and holiday stress  

I wrote an article weeks ago that was all about holidays and also the stress I would go through when my mom was alive.  I found the number one issue and stress this year among all my friends was their mother – rarely their father, but sometimes.  Hopefully if you are a mother you are not one who causes much stress to your child.  Another big stress is going from home to home or choosing where to go on which day.  Holidays are so blown out of proportion and families get annoyed if you can't be with them.

This year I spent both days happily with my sister and her husband as it was only the three of us, family-wise, close by.  I continued to have the holidays at my home because this is what my husband and I did for the past couple of years since moving to our place.  I didn't want to break that tradition just because dad and he were not here.  I wanted to continue to do what I always did and I'm very happy I made that decision.

Holiday blues turned bright red white and green  

On Christmas Eve I was beginning to feel sad and my sister and her husband arrived and we cooked together, talked and had fun.  On Christmas morning I was very sad and in a serious funk. If it was another time in life I may have called off my sister coming over but I chose to still go along with the plan knowing I'd actually feel better.  They came over and my sister did most of the cooking here and we all had a good day again.  Was I sad on and off?  Yes.  I still am. Would it have been much, much worse if I chose to be alone?  YES! And sometimes that is the choice people make because the sadness feels so overwhelming they allow it to overtake them.  I didn't but I could've very easily.

I guess I'm writing all this to stick to my usual thought process for everyone and that is to not allow yourself to stay in a funk.  It's totally okay to grieve, cry and have emotions; we need that to get past things, however it's not okay to stay in it and isolate.  This is when we can get really depressed. Been there done that and feel like doing it now but I'm not.

Happy New Year  

Have a very Happy New Year's Eve/New Year. Stay Safe – Don't Drink and Drive; either assign a designated driver or stay at your destination.

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