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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

This holiday season, I'm stepping out of the race.

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I didn't make it to the gym this morning.

Instead, I went to visit two of my kids' classrooms for their Great American Teach-in.

I won't make it to the gym tomorrow.

Instead, I'll be chairing and working my preschooler's Thanksgiving Day Feast.

Then, in one day, I'll be moving out of and cleaning one house and back into my actual home from which I have been displaced since early July.

I won't make it to the gym next week either.

Instead, I'll be caring for my three littles who are off from school all week.

So, I'll be missing the gym, once again.

And, come December, holy heck, there will surely be very little "me time."

Who the hell cares and why the heck is it such a big deal?

No one, and you’re right; it's not.

Still, in my overanalyzing, anxious brain, I worry that all of the hard work and time it took me over the past year to get into what is arguably the best shape of my adult life, will have been for nothing when I'm practically forced into this upcoming two week hiatus.

But guess what?

I'm kind of excited about it and here's why --

Just yesterday, I spoke with a somewhat new friend who lost her sister not too long ago and now her father just a few weeks ago.

I, myself, unexpectedly lost my dad almost seven years ago.

Life is fragile, and so are people, and that is why you must spend your time off and as much as you can of this holiday season with those whom you love, who sure as hell love you to the moon and back.

THAT is what matters; not how fit I am.

You see, many other women (I assume) and I spend the majority of our lives chasing this other

-- supposedly better --

version of ourselves.

But, our loved ones, especially our kids, they so very purely love and want who it is that we are RIGHT NOW.

Not a skinner version of her.

Not a more graceful one.

Not a better dressed one.

Not the version of you that drives a BMW.

Not you holding a big fat paycheck.

Not you making headlines or winning awards.

Not even less of a yelling you.

They want the you that’s “all-in.”

The you that is present and awake to their bids for connection.

"Our people,” they just want for us to want to be with them, and when I think about what I want most for and from my life, there is not a single version of it that doesn't have my family front and center.

This holiday season, I'm stepping out of the race.

If you need me, I'll be sitting on the sidelines, eating gingerbread-flavored icecream with my lovee ones, and chunking up on

pure joy,

the making of uncurated, unstaged memories,

and full gratitude.

And, I encourage you to do the same.

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