by Steph Creaturo
Last week, I talked about my food reboot and how I stay on the gluten-free and dairy-free trains among the mound of Christmas cookies popping up everywhere. Now, I’m thinking about how to stay out of the mad holiday rush, which leaves a worse kind of hangover than those cookies. I am committed to sidestepping the ethos of busy, tired, and everything being just a bit over-done. So, I think these three things can help my family create more time and space to enjoy our Christmas tree and be with loved ones. I’ll let you know how I do on January 2nd!
Set specific goals around what we’re doing as a family. Does that sound dorky or callous around the holiday season? Maybe. But I’m tired of this cycle:
Mid-November, we say “let’s go see the holiday windows!” over family dinner.
Mid-December, we then say “hey, when are we going to see those holiday windows?” when we’re in the midst of triaging kid dinner/bed/bath and trying to have an adult conversation.
Late December: we look at each other, wiped out, and say “next year we’ll see the holiday windows.”
Early January, we say to each other over dinner, “why didn’t we see the holiday windows?”
Sound familiar? Instead, this year, we are looking at our calendar and setting dates and times for everything we want to do, and this includes anything that could be labeled an “obligation.” If it isn’t on the calendar, we are not doing it.
Move the bones. Move my body every day. Like, every day.
Runner’s World has it’s annual “streak” challenge, where you have to run at least a mile a day, every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Mala Yoga is doing a 31 Days of Yoga offering. Does it sound like too much to do, between school concerts and end-of-year work projects and socializing? That’s the point! Nobody wins if everybody is losing and the first place that often starts is with keeping our bodies healthy.
This goes for both me and my husband. Everybody in the house has to win, right? We both run and do the “you go now, I’ll go after” do-si-do. Here’s how we make sure the second person really gets out the door: both of us get dressed in running gear when we get up. Even if we can’t run for an hour, it’s more likely to happen if we’re dressed for it! (Full disclosure: I’ve been known to sleep in my gear if I’m getting up super-early to run or yoga.)
I then make sure that whatever I’m doing that day – running, yoga, meditation – gets written down on the day’s to-do list. Sound even dorkier than item #1? Maybe. But I have discovered if I write it down, I do it. Every morning, I scribble my day’s plan on the back of an envelope (no fancy apps for me) and do what’s on that list. It’s better to get out for just a mile or do three sun salutes than do nothing at all. And to that point …
Quiet my mind every day. I am trying to sit on the subway without looking at my phone or reading. I have started to use the G train as my meditation bench. The walk to my son’s school in the afternoon is now a walking meditation.
In the past few years, I have made peace with working with what time I have in my life versus what time I want or used to have. A mommy schedule means there is a lot of little pockets of time throughout the day. These cracks continue to provide the most wonderfully unexpected gifts to center and reflect. I am doing my best to accept these gift with grace as opposed to wanting for the past and longing for more.