It’s Fall! I know… you’d never know it in Texas. Fortunately, Mike and I made two trips to Vermont this season, so I can say with certainty that Fall is here.
Fall doesn’t just mean pumpkin lattes and getting annoyed at Christmas music playing before Halloween (I not-so-secretly love that they play it so early). It also means the holiday season is truly upon us! (I’m doing a little celebration dance right now because I LOVE the holidays!).
Sometimes the holiday season can be daunting in sooooo many ways, though.
Financially you might be trying to figure out the most cost-effective way to give this season without undoing a year’s worth of hard work at getting debt-free and back on track (yet still making sure people don’t think you’re -gasp- cheap).
Physically you might be staring in the face of another New Year’s resolution to fit back into the clothes that haven’t seen daylight since 2012 (emoticon-raising-my-hand).
Emotionally you might be gearing up for time spent with family and friends which can be overwhelming, even when there’s zero tension in the relationship. Just the thought of getting dressed nice enough to attend a party or getting your house ready for visitors you can’t wait to see can still be taxing on your emotion and energy.
The truth is, holidays can sometimes be amazing AND stressful all wrapped into one nice package with a bow that is clearly a Pinterest fail.
Our two trips to Vermont gave me some perspective on that, so I thought I’d share.. in case, ya know… you get stressed out sometimes.
The Story of How I Discovered the Secret of A Joyful Holiday Season (or Joy Anytime)
Our first trip to Vermont in October was a result of Mike’s work travel schedule. I tagged along because I’d never seen a real Fall (seriously, never. Not that I remember anyway… Mom, feel free to comment below and correct me).
Side note: these photos don’t even do justice to the beauty and majesty I saw. It was truly breathtaking. My wordy-word-loving-self can’t even come up with the right words to describe it other than to admit how I continually repeated, “I’ve never seen anything like this!” as I forced Mike to drive around the countryside taking photos with me (#husbandwin).
Our second visit to Vermont happened a few short weeks later when Mike’s grandfather passed away. I can’t say enough how grateful I am we went on the first trip so Mike could visit with his grandpa that last time. That experience alone will really help to put the holidays in perspective for anyone.
When in Vermont, the family tends to congregate (for at least one day of the visit) on 40 acres where Mike’s aunt and uncle live. His aunt and uncle (along with pretty much the rest of his family) make Pinterest look like amateur hour. I see where he gets it.
As most of you know, back home in Texas, Mike & I don’t have internet. Well, the house in Vermont surpasses us in that not only is there no internet, but we barely get cell service when we’re there either.
It. Is. Glorious.
When was the last time you were bored? Truly bored? When was the last time you had to creatively come up with something entertaining? Or better yet, spent quality time with family where you’re all forced to be creative (even if the creativity is just “what can we talk about now?”)?
Sometimes bored is seen as a bad word. It has a negative connotation. It is dripping with the whiny voice we all know, even if we don’t have kids (because, be honest, we said it as kids, too).
I’ll skip ahead to my point before my boredom soapbox takes over.
While I was there, I realized some important things about myself. (1) I find joy in creativity (I doubt I’m alone there). (2) I am disorganized, especially since we moved. My disorganization leads to feeling frustrated by my attempts at creativity long before I can even start the creating… because it takes three times as long to set up my supplies and find what I need as it does to actually make something creative.
I’m full of ideas and they are stuck in my brain dying to get out because my house is messy. That’s the bottom line. I’m lucky enough to have an entire room I can dedicate to running my Younique business and being creative and crafty… it’s just all in boxes and stacks of paper.
I made it my November goal to focus on my creative space. I’m going to turn it into a space that is more conducive to creativity. Then, I can do more of what brings me joy.
As the holidays approach (ahem, they’re here), I am excited about all the possibilities for creativity and for finding joy. I’ll still have the stress over the financial aspect of the holidays, the physical reality that I still don’t fit in those old clothes, and the emotional experiences that come with hosting a large family gathering in my house that is currently under construction and without a dining room or sizeable living room…
BUT what I’ll also have is a PLAN for how to find joy amidst the stress… and having a way to feel happy and joyful means I’ll probably be able to find the joy in everything else that comes with the holidays (joy is contagious in your life like that).
So, here’s my fool-proof two-step process to finding joy this holiday season (or anytime). Very little of this (if any) will be news to you. Sometimes, though, it’s important to be reminded of what we already know (but maybe don’t put into practice).
How To Find Joy In Your Life
- Figure out what you love and what brings you joy. It’s important to figure this out for real, not just what you think you should love or what you think should bring you joy. Be honest with yourself.
- Do more of that. Rearrange your stuff/time/house to make it more conducive to doing more of that anytime you can.
There you have it. Easy peasy. Except sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about how to make time in your day/budget/house for what you love…especially when there are things you don’t love that MUST be done (I call them “dishes.”)
If that’s the case for you, help is on the way!
I’m working on a series through the Quietly Confident Club to help you identify your true priorities and spend more of your energy and time on what brings you joy, and less on what doesn’t (while still accomplishing the must-do stuff like dishes). Sign up for the Quietly Confident Club by clicking here now or by visiting www.quietlyconfidentclub.com You’ll receive confidence-building ideas directly to your inbox so you can build your confidence anytime you need it (or share it with someone who needs it). Once the series is ready (I’m thinking within a few weeks), it’ll automatically arrive in your inbox, too! The club is how I’m helping confident women create confident women.
Have a Happy (& Confident) Thanksgiving!