|Afternoon Blueberry tea with real blueberries and whipped cinnamon honey.|
With past experience of a very busy holiday season, I have learned fatigue and physical exhaustion set in quickly if I don't keep to boundaries. I have realized these boundaries are for me, not for me to impose on family.
So far in the past 45 days I have foreseen the upcoming months and said no to many social "extras" I was doing. Like a lovely women's Bible study I attend when I can, and also a few women from church trying to plan a retreat day each month...even in November and December.
In saying no, my boundaries are pushed by almost everyone. But I know it's best for me to be able to go through the season with joy in my heart and praising God for Jesus.
A week and a half after Christmas is my birthday, and last year I was so exhausted I didn't want to be around anyone for my birthday. It saddened me, but the mental and physical exhaustion was to great. I only wanted a quiet sleigh ride. My blessed husband granted me that one wish. And it was beautiful.
This topic brings me back to women of years past. The ones who I have read about, and who I have heard through those who have lived in the early 1900's.
Women did things with family, and guarded her energy and family time. It was lovely to travel to spend time with family, but never at the expense of her health or her children. She didn't have the amount of media in her life as we do today, yet she had very clear boundaries.
If we recall for a moment, the times before cell phones and media, the planning that was involved in creating a lovely atmosphere at home. And the big plans for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
These are stressful enough, but adding in the media and texting that is expected now, and all the wonderful shows and gatherings, it creates an added burden of stress.
As a women and mom, I find in my older years, I don't like to add too much to my schedule so I like to create Margins. If you have never read the book, I highly recommend it. It gave me insights and "permission" if you will to say No. To hold to my reasons why, and to know God will bless me in my no.
In my journey with my health, years ago, I heard of a phrase which I still use today: Pigs at a trough. Using this phrase helps me explain to others my no. So if there are 3 pigs at a trough and a 4th comes up and pushes his way in, then one of the 3 gets pushed out. That's just the way it is.
If I am managing meals and my home for my husband and I, managing my health with daily rests and watching the amount of activities I am involved in, I have a little time left for things for me. If that time is filled with planning and grandchildren then I can't do many errands. If that time is filled with errands and a family gathering then I can't do additional family or social events.
Lets say I have space in my week for 1 major event. Well, if my children and grandchildren get together, then I say no to lunch with a friend that week.
If there are only 24 hours in a day...we can't squeeze in 26 or 27 just by going faster or more meticulous planning. We get 24 hours.
This holiday season from November and into December I am using Margins and the phrase "pigs at a trough" to help me navigate through so I can be joyful and grateful. If I miss out on a few things then that is what I must do so I can remain happy and available for my husband, tend to our home and see my grandchildren.
Wishing you a peaceful November and planning season for Christmas.