2020 has been a bit extra, as years go. Even if the past 11 months hadn’t been a dumpster fire, we are still a bit tired by the time we get to this point in the year, amiright? Don’t get me wrong, we love the holidays so much, but they can also be rather loaded. Maybe it’s the stress, the expectations, the gift buying, the cooking, the time spent with difficult family members, the endless events or whatever it is–but we feel pulled in a thousand different directions. The one gift that 2020 may have given us is a really good excuse to slow down and schedule less. Do less so we can be more. It’s given us a reason to control our calendars and our contacts. Never before has being controlling been a good thing, but this year it is applauded, is it not? So, this holiday season, what I wish for you is a very controlling Christmas and a micromanaged New Year!
What does a “controlling Christmas” look like? It looks like not letting anything in that is toxic. It looks like not going anywhere or being with anyone who is harmful. If I’m the CDC, I’m referring to germs. If I’m a therapist (which I am), I’m speaking in a much broader sense than your physical health. I’m referring to your emotional and spiritual health. I’m referring to your sanity. I’m referring to your boundaries.
I’m not speaking of social distancing yourself from COVID specifically, but from those who steal your peace and have no interest in what feeds you as a person. Do they know who you are as a person? Do they truly know your kids or significant other? Do they have anything to do with you the rest of the year? If it’s a no to all of that, then how much space do they need in your “pandemic pod” or even your normal-life-non-Covid circle? Are they a part of your village or maybe more accurately, they actually belong to the village next door. Which is ok! But….
What are we pretending for?
In my practice, I talk with my clients about the ideas of circles. Our inner circle people are those “iron sharpens iron” people who know us to the core and we know them. They speak truth into our lives and can do that because they know our intimate lives. They are trustworthy and dependable. They will be there when the crowd has gone and the sun has set. The second ring are those people who we are close to, but they aren’t quite inner circle. They know a good amount about us and they love us, but there is organically a bit of distance there. The outer ring are our acquaintances, peers, extended family, professional relationships, etc. What they know about us anyone can learn about on Facebook or Instagram. They mean us no harm, but it’s a very basic relationship.
Maybe this year, it’s ok if we focus on that inner circle and stop paying the other rings with hours from our life that we can’t get back. Small gatherings are the thing in 2020, right? So we take this year to focus on what is our life blood and control what is on our calendar, in a way that we’ve never felt we had permission to do before. We say no to anything not essential. We tighten. We go into 2020 continuing to chip away anything that is not healthy for us. In the words of Bradley Cooper from A Star is Born, “maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.” Maybe we said yes to too much for too long because we were afraid to break tradition. Maybe this is the year to form new, healthier traditions. If you were to set new intentions and new priorities that we were truly life-giving for you and your family, what would that look like for you?
So in all love and peace and goodwill, I personally wish you….
A very controlling Christmas and a micromanaged New Year! I can’t wait to hear all about it–at some point, whenever you truly, truly have time!
For some simple self-care strategies to keep you whole during the Holidays, visit us here!
Great info here on how to get outside and do something good for your soul: https://quadcity.momcollective.com/2020/01/26/quad-cities-winter-sports-skiing-skating-sledding-and-more/
Did you know that healthy friendships improve your physical health and actually boost your immunity?