Do Better December 12th 2014 Time to Reboot

12 Dec

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Have you ever left your computer on for days on end without restarting it? Have you ever left it on overnight with internet windows open? Just in case you’re one of those people who hasn’t, I’ll tell you what happens. It gets slow and cranky, or maybe it gets slow and I get cranky, but in any case, it doesn’t perform at the same rate it did before. It might be ok for a day or two, but eventually you have to shut it down for a while because even restarting doesn’t help. Do you get the metaphor yet? If you’re in the midst of holiday hustle and bustle, you may not, so let me tell you that you are like that computer. You can keep drinking caffeine and energy drinks to keep yourself going, but eventually you need to give your body the opportunity to rest and recuperate just like your computer. That’s what this weekend will be for our family.

We have been on a roller coaster ride for a few months now. My younger two children are in marching band and that is a huge commitment. It makes family time very difficult and with the older of the two working a part time job as well, it really cramped family time. The reward for all of that dedication was a trip to Disney World. Because of our youngest son’s medical condition, we decided to make the trip to Orlando on our own just in case we were needed. Thankfully we weren’t, and all four of us who went had a great time. The reality check when we came back was a shock. Physically we were riding on a boat in 85/29 degree weather one day, and we were shoveling out of 4-6 inches of snow the next. Mentally we had to deal with trying to catch up on work whether at work, at home or in school. Throw in a day long craft show fundraiser, a late Thanksgiving with family members who had to work every day of the supposed holiday, a business trip that included 60 working hours in five days and the onslaught of the Christmas holiday, and the stress levels rose for everyone.

This weekend we get a bit of a break. We only have one party on Sunday afternoon and one of my sons works on Sunday. Yes, we have Christmas cards to order if we intend to send them this year. I have gifts yet to buy or order online. We have cookies and other confections to make, but our time is mostly our own this weekend, and we intend to use that time wisely to sleep well, eat healthy and enjoy the ride. Even writing that relaxes me. I am looking forward to a weekend of quiet and calm because it’s so rare for us these days. I’m looking forward to a weekend of enough sleep enough to reboot my body, enough shopping (mostly online) to reboot my holiday cheer and enough meditation and exercise to reboot my energy and attitude.

I know this is a time of year when people miss loved ones who have passed the most. In our home, we do what we can to honor them and uplift their memory. Maybe because of the medical conditions in this house, we spend very little time on grief. I mean no disrespect to anyone going through the grieving process but my husband and I lost our fathers four months apart in the same year and we gave birth in the middle of that. We know grief, but we both have a deep faith that our fathers, who suffered greatly upon this earth, are much happier where they are and someday, we’ll join them again. In the meantime, we have important work to do here raising our family and honoring their memory. We do that in the simplest ways. For my husband, baking peanut butter cookies is an homage to his father. Peanut butter cookies were his dad’s favorite, and my husband bakes them first to honor his dad and kick off our baking season. We bake approximately 100 dozen cookies each year. In addition to what we nibble on here, we give some away and we supply our family Christmas Eve gathering with most of them. Our Christmas Eve gathering, thankfully at my sister in law’s house, includes some variation of my mother in law, her nine children and their significant others, their 27 children and some significant others and their thirty plus children, most of whom are too young for significant others. The numbers vary from year to year, but if everyone shows up, we’re talking between 70 and 80 people. It’s chaos, and it’s something we all look forward to every year.

I think the biggest challenge of the holiday season has to do with expectations and perfectionism. We expect each holiday season to top the last one, but that doesn’t always happen. We expect our table to look like those in the commercials, but they don’t and we are disappointed with our perceived lack of culinary expertise. I got really angry recently when I was watching some Thanksgiving cooking shows. One show in particular was driving me crazy because this woman was dressed beautifully, with perfect hair and makeup and she was cooking a Thanksgiving meal for a houseful of people. She made the entire process seem effortless and so simple, and I wanted to reach through the screen and smack her. I started lecturing the TV and that woman about the disservice she was doing. I don’t know anyone who makes Thanksgiving dinner dressed like that. Making Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is hard work. Most people I know get the bulk of the work done in clothes they can mess up and then get dressed for company later. Pretending you can do it all looking like that just sets other women up for failure. Remember something as you watch all the holiday cooking shows that produce the most amazing looking meals on TV. Remember that those people have a team to get that meal on the table looking beautiful. In some cases, the food isn’t even edible. Turkeys and hams on TV commercials are covered with things you would never eat to make them look appetizing. Butter pats don’t melt because they’re not butter, they’re wax. Steaming food is sometimes steaming because there is a little dry ice in the bottom of the bowl or some other concoction that makes the food look steaming hot. It’s all an illusion.

I used to buy into the illusion but not anymore. The illusion makes us feel bad because we think our reality doesn’t match up. Please stop buying into the illusion that you, your finances or your life doesn’t measure up. Reboot your thinking. Reboot your expectations. Allow this to be the season that you enjoy what you have and give credit to yourself for doing your best. If you need a reality check, help out in a homeless shelter or take a warm cup of hot chocolate to a homeless person on the street. You will know that you are blessed. Share your sorrow with someone safe, even if it’s someone on a hotline who is trained to listen. I’ve seen people share their grief and pain in a safe environment and open themselves up to the support of others and just being able to let it out sometimes relieves so much of the negative emotion. Know that there is no such thing as the perfect Christmas. Even those you remember as perfect as a child probably weren’t as perfect as you remember them, you just didn’t notice the stresses and challenges of others, but if you are lacking in holiday spirit I do have a suggestion. Get yourself around children. Children embody the Christmas spirit with ease. They practically glow this time of year whether their parents can see it or not. Get yourself around children and ask them about Santa. If they’re Christian children, ask them to tell you the Christmas story. Watch them as they answer you and see the joy and innocence of childhood before you. It will lift your spirit like nothing else.

So what do you need to do to reboot yourself? Do you need to get some sleep? If so, put clean sheets on your bed, take a shower or bath and slide into that clean bed with a clean you and allow yourself to sleep and wake refreshed. Do you need to eat healthier? Grab some salad from the grocery and add that to your lunch and dinner. Eat some organic fruits and veggies when you’re not at a party. Guess what? You can eat veggies for breakfast if it’s the only meal you’ll be at home to eat. Do you need to get more exercise? Park further away from the mall if you have shopping to do to get some extra steps. Call a friend to walk the mall with you before you shop. Dance around the house to Christmas music if you have no one to walk with you. Dance like no one is watching and then imagine that someone is and that someone is you. Do you need to reboot your attitude? Watch a funny movie. If you celebrate Christmas, there are countless comedies to watch. If you don’t, there are even more. There are Christmas comedy shows and non-Christmas comedy shows online and on the comedy networks of cable and satellite providers. Another suggestion to reboot your attitude, start a gratitude journal. Every morning and/or evening write down five things that you are grateful for in your life. In the beginning, you might struggle with it, but I promise you that the more you look for things to be grateful for, the more you will find. Have you ever noticed that when someone you know buys a certain kind of car, you begin to see it everywhere even if it’s one you never really noticed before? It works like that.

Finally, make peace with the fact that this may not be your best holiday season ever but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the season or with you. December 25th will come to every calendar whether it is celebrated or not. If this isn’t the holiday season you want, what can you do this year and next year to make it better? What can you do for the next couple of weeks to end this year the best you can and start the New Year with at least a glimmer of hope? What benefit are you getting from staying stuck or unhappy? Do you know if you didn’t get some kind of benefit from it that you would change? Of course, that’s a big subject for another day, and until that day, I’ll be signing off for the weekend to spend time with my family and reboot for the push next week. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to do the same, not just to relax, but to renew yourself and find yourself in a better state on Monday than you are today. If you do something to reboot your life in any way, I would love for you to share it in a comment here or on our Facebook page. Nothing is more inspiring to me than knowing how others find their inspiration and motivation. The message of this season for Christians is hope and love. I think those are two noble causes to spread around the world no matter what religion you practice or if you don’t practice any religion at all. For this weekend, my hope is that you found something in this post to make you smile and just in case no one told you today, I love you, not in a creepy stalker kind of way, but in a deeply human, you are valuable and I’m glad you’re on this planet kind of way. It’s why I always end my posts the way I do because I really do thank you for being you and I truly wish that you have a great day. Happy weekend everyone!


One Response to “Do Better December 12th 2014 Time to Reboot”


  1. Do Better December 12th 2014 Time to Reboot | karenbemmes aka Better Living Daily - December 12, 2014

    […] Do Better December 12th 2014 Time to Reboot. […]

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