This excerpt is from my Company’s Women’s Network Newsletter (2010). I had to share, I found myself nodding my head at every word and wanting to scream, “AMEN” when I finished reading! The excerpt was written by one of the top female executives at my company, at the time. I have found her to be a very smart and inspirational woman. And now more than ever… as we are a week from Christmas is a good time to be reminded of this! Enjoy!
A message from Teri:
The Holiday Season is in full swing. In years past, I would be completely frenzied at this point. Is the house completely and perfectly decorated? Have I made enough beautiful holiday treats? Did I choose the perfect card with the most adorable family picture? Is every gift perfectly selected and beautifully wrapped? Have I included all the right people in the annual holiday party – and did I attend all those to which I was invited (with a perfect hostess gift for each!)? And, oh by the way, are all the important priorities at work completed, so I can “enjoy” the break before the New Year?
All of this against a constantly ticking clock that meant every day was “jam packed” and I was feeling exhausted.
A few years ago, I stepped back and asked myself what all this activity was really bringing to my family. Sure…we might have thought we “looked” picture perfect (which, of course, we never really achieved)…but were we really enjoying the spirit of the season? Were we having fun? Were we creating happy memories to enjoy for years to come…or would it just be my children remembering what a crazed woman their mother had become?
And so, I forced myself to make choices during the holidays to achieve the sense of balance that I have had to learn to create during the rest of the year. At first it was hard to walk away from all the self-imposed expectations of what a “good” mother/wife/hostess/professional would do during the season. Frankly, the biggest challenge was to ignore that inner voice that seems to eat away at any vestige of self-confidence…the one that tells us that “everyone” will notice the imperfections in the decorations, cookies, gift wrapping….
To my surprise, I found tremendous satisfaction in being less-than-perfect. I now look forward to digging out the holiday decorations – because I only put up the ones that inspire me in any given year (and I have a whole lot less clutter to drive me crazy during the season!). When my daughters and I bake, we laugh about the things that don’t turn out…and we eat up all the “less attractive” cookies. We’ve shifted from buying gifts we didn’t really need, to finding time to volunteer or shop for those who really do have basic needs unmet. Our annual holiday party has evolved to cozy, relaxed gatherings with a few close friends.
And so, my wish for you during the holiday season is to find your own personal sense of balance…to do only those things that inspire joy and happy memories…and to choose to focus on what is truly important to you and your families.