The gifts are wrapped, except one or two! The tree is lit with a fraction of the ornaments it usually gets. Derek is scrambling to finish end of the year items at work. Haylee was up until 1am making her food speech for school and finishing her pasta bridge for engineering class. The elf did make a sneaky move amidst all the chaos. So far this week, he's been fishing for an octopus, taken marshmallow bath, tried to remind us to put more ornaments on the tree, and held the baby Jesus in the nativity display. Racing right now is a sore subject for Derek so we don't even talk about it. I know this too shall pass. So, how to survive all of this craziness you ask? Well I have three tips for you.
#1 BREATHE- When you are driving and you are tempted to kick someone's ass because you have a list a mile long rattling around in your brain and the guy to your left won't let you over when attempting to switch lanes (which is grossly exaggerated during the holiday hustle-but happens all the time anyway) just BREATHE. Take a big, chest expanding, slow breath and you will be amazing at how much better you feel. It helps to do two or three and really focus in on the breath. The great thing is you can do this while driving, shopping, even in an annoying conversation. I use this a lot so I don't react in the moment. It's almost as if I can imagine myself being swept away to a warm beach as I breathe. Suddenly, the rude person or urge to hurry settles down or just simply disappears! Try it...you'll be impressed with how easy it is and how good it works.
#2 REMEMBER-THIS TOO SHALL PASS- Christmas comes and goes quickly. The craze, the crowds, the frenzy, it will all be over soon. Derek will most likely get a call from a team or sponsor just after the New Year when all goes quiet and people can actually do what they like to do again instead of buying 8000 gifts and sending a bazillion Christmas cards to people you haven't talked to in years! You will be able to sit by the fire with your family soon and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing friends and family enjoy the perfect gifts you found them. Hopefully wherever you are, there will be snow and you can shred the gnar out there. Just taking a moment to reflect on the light at the end of the tunnel and to acknowledge that moments pass quickly just might bring you back into the moment to enjoy it a little bit.
And finally, this one has been the biggest for me this holiday season...
#3 LAUGH- Even if you have to force it at first. Consciously try to laugh as hard as you can as often as you can. I read on Instagram, somewhere this week (sorry-too busy to look it up) that one moment of anger can depress your immune system for hours. In the reverse, one moment of good solid laughter can supercharge your immune system for more than 24 hours. Laugh people! Stop being so serious! I am talking to myself when I say this. Not only are the holidays overwhelming but the world is. There is so much negative information coming at us all the time that we could easily (and most of us have) go down that rabbit hole of fear, anger, blame, and poo. Let's consciously not do that! Let's bring back the joy this Christmas and the connection it brings. I preach this to myself and now to you often, thanks to Ghandi, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
When you breathe and acknowledge time passing quickly remember to ask yourself. Who do I want to be? What kind of person do I want to present as? Do I want to be the Grinch? or Scrooge? Do I want to be that angry guy that flipped someone off on the road because I was rushed or stressed? Do I want to be the mom that screams at my kids because I'm trying to be perfect? Or do I want to be love?
The Fastlife is a little overrated because going fast doesn't always bring out the best in us if we turn into Scrooge. I think I'll attempt the Fastlife with quick breaks to breathe and reset. We'll see if that works. Let me know how it works for you! Please join in the conversation, tell your story, or write us a note. We love to hear from you!