To-do’s before Christmas

Last night, Sunday night, I couldn’t fall asleep because of all the to-do’s I have fluttering around in my head. I was worrying that I put too much on my plate. Then I worried that even if I do get everything done that I want to this week, my days will be packed. Then I was worrying about how many pre-Christmas moments I might miss out on with my kids because I am so fixated on all the things I have ‘to-do.’ After laying there all busy-minded for a while, I finally got up and took something to help me sleep.

Now it’s Monday morning and I am (some what) ready to face the day. I am three sips of coffee in, no one else is up, and I turned on my twinkly Christmas lights. I can do this. Yes, it’ll be a busy week, yet if I don’t get everything done, that’s ok. And if I am smart, I’ll carve out non-busy time in my day every day this week. Non-busy time to just hang out with my kids or take a rest. One thing I am learning about myself is that the busier and stressed out I get, the MORE things I add to my list of things to-do. Completely contrary to what I should be doing! I need to break that habit right here and now and tell myself not to take on anything else until the new year. Don’t start any new projects. Don’t overextend myself to others. Don’t sign up for any events downtown.

I’m good. I’ll get it all done. Stay focused.

I have to finish Christmas cards, get teacher gifts around, go through paperwork in my office, work on a few different writing projects I have in the works (one about my kids and the other a character sketch), fuss with some pictures on my desktop, sync my new phone with iTunes (which I am scared to do because of last week’s debacle), update my playlists on my iPod, and it goes on and now that I am typing this out and taking a hard look at everything I need to do…. Most of it is complete NONSENSE.

But then there are the appointments I have this week. Doctor’s this morning. Yoga tonight. Mom’s Writing Group tomorrow morning. Facial on Wednesday morning to see what I can do about my terrible skin, always broken out. Cookie playdate for my daughter (oh yeah, she needs to buy a $10 gift, aka I do). Yoga again. Run. Massage to help with my sore right arm. Therapy appointment…. Oh! And we STILL haven’t gotten a Christmas Tree.

Ai ya ya.

Stop letting this stuff stress you out, I am telling myself. If this was a regular time of the year, sure stuff might be floating around in my mind, but it wouldn’t be causing me any stress the way it is now. Christmas puts me on over-drive. And for someone who struggles with hypomania, I am the last person that needs more energy or a busy mind because it escalates in me.

The doctor’s appointment that I have this morning is with my psychiatrist. That’ll be good. I had a pretty rough October, emotionally speaking, and I had a hard time adjusting to the dark when we turned the clocks back in November. On a whole, though I am holding things together. I cried a lot at my therapy appointment in October. A lot. I knew what was bothering me so I opted to ‘cry it out,’ instead of going to see my psychiatrist. It’s worked to a point and I have/am getting through it, but I decided I will brief my psychiatrist and see what she says. Also mention my busy mind full of to-dos.

Yet……. as luck has it…….. and just as I am starting to feel better about dispelling all of my to-do’s out in the blog post and feeling comforted by the fact that I have a doctor’s appointment, I just checked my email…….. Two-hour delay. Of course! Of course there would be bad weather last night! Now my whole day plan is disrupted. Great start! Ha. And the thing is, after writing all of this I am somewhat calm about the delay. Something bigger than myself. And there is nothing I can do but ride the day out and make getting to the doctor my first priority over all else. The things that don’t get done… there’s always tomorrow. This morning I need to focus on getting everybody where they need to go and not wreck my car on icy roads.

At which point do I TRULY surrender to the other nonsense? All this pre-Christmas stress. I am going to take my to-do’s down a notch in the remaining time I have left to write.

New plan:

Finish cards.

Get a tree.

Wrap presents.

Bake cookies with my kids.

Yoga/Run.

Stop worrying about my struggle with passive voice in this blog post. Ha.

DONE.

That’s my plan. Anything else that does or doesn’t happen is fine. I’m letting go of my control. Yeahhhhhh right, but it’s a nice thought! Although I did one thing yesterday that was a step in the right direction. I let two coupons for a clothing store and a home decor store expire. The horror (I enjoy shopping)!! They were awesome coupons and I could have saved a lot of money on a few gifts… but I chose to spend the evening with my family last night instead of inside retail stores that are on Christmas steroids.

Good choice.

Besides, I need to go through the gifts I already bought anyway. Maybe there is not one thing that I still need to buy this Christmas because maybe I’ve done enough. And if I still do need a few more gifts after I check my list, there’s always Amazon. Operation stay-out-of-the-stores starts this week because the stores make me crazy.

Oh shit! (As my mind jumps to something completely new). I just thought of two more things I have been wanting to do:

  1. Write a blog post called “My relationship with alcohol.”
  2. Write a blog post called “My relationship with music.”

So there. A little preview of what’s do come on the blog after I get a grip on the above, although I think my next blog post should be called: What NOT to-do before Christmas. Ha.

Happy Monday! I hope you try to remember what is important this week and turn off all the other noise. A mindful approach over the next 13 days to Christmas is the best thing you can do for yourself. Flush out the nonsense and focus on only what makes your Christmas special.

I am going to work my ass of this week to clear up my stress and gently slide into laziness by the 20th. Because by then all of this crap will be done (I hope) and I’ll have several days before Christmas to be all zen and enjoy. Optimistically speaking 🙂

Stressfully-yet-trying-not-to-be-stressed-yours as I adjust my day plan because of the school delay.

Annnnnnnd my dog just threw up on the couch just as I was about to hit publish. I kid you not. I love how life works.

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