As we move into the holiday season – whichever holidays you celebrate – I have noticed a lot of people feeling stressed out and underappreciated. We are rushing from holiday parties to children’s play dates to sales in our favorite stores to family dinners to work Of course the planning and the gifts and the gatherings are important, but as is usually the case, the best things in life really are free. As time goes on, most of the people in your life will not remember the gift you spent so much time agonizing over, but they will remember your presence and how you smiled when you were truly happy.
In the rush to cross off all the activities on our lists and getting from one place to another on time, we may have to make the effort to remember to stop and appreciate what is happening around us. We may have to take the time to be kind to the people in our lives, the people we love and the people we encounter in the midst of our activities. Small acts of kindness can get lost in the hustle and bustle and expectation of grand gestures.
Slowing down just a little allows us to recognize what we really like the most about this time of year, which is often sharing in the closeness of relationships with people we care about, spending extra quality time with them without interruption, and giving and receiving love from them. So take a little time today to step back, take a breath, and take in the view. Allow your heart to be touched by others, and take the time to smile and show kindness to whoever is in your sphere at the moment.
We are all under a lot of pressure to rush from holiday work parties and making dinner to getting to the airport on time. There seems to be so much that needs to be done, so many expectations and obligations to fulfill and so little time to do it all. I find that it is easy to get lost in the shuffle, and particularly easy to forget to do the things that are truly important, the things that make the holidays such a special time.
I want to take a moment to remind everyone to stop, take a deep breath, and remember to slow down, to make the decision to reassess, and to prioritize what we feel is truly important in our lives and focus on those things, too.