Seasonal stress?

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That wonderful time of year – when there’s far more to do than time to do it, it’s so cold outside that it’s almost hard to enjoy watching the dogs play in it, it gets dark so early that I have to choreograph trips outside to make sure that none of the big black dogs get lost in the dark.

We really are so busy now, everyone is multitasking and trying to do everything they can for everyone they can and sometimes it gets to be too much! For me, holidays have always been about home and family and making the conscious decision to stop, to take some deep breaths, to enjoy the company of family and close friends.

Parties are lovely when they’re relaxed, comfortable affairs that require little more than company and some food. But even such pleasant get-togethers cost precious time that could be spent at home. We get so wrapped up in trying to do so much that it’s easy to forget what any particular holiday celebrates.

And these are biggies!

Christmas and New Years are both about hope, redemption, renewal, rebirth. They are about love, and forgiveness, and getting our priorities straight! They are for sharing with the people we hold most dear (and the animals, too!) and celebrating both what is and what can be, if we are willing to make the effort.

Take a moment in this busy time to remember that we all can be striving to be better people, better sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, and friends.  How little it costs us to offer a smile, a hand, a word of encouragement or comfort, yet how great the rewards when we do.

Time is made up of a series of moments, strung together in some odd linear pattern. I will choose to make my pattern relaxed and loose and warm – if others want to yank on it, fine, so long as they realize that when it gets tightened there will be little room for error or spontaneity.

I will take my instruction from my dogs and endeavor to live in the moment, with grace and joy and generosity. As long as I give them enough time outside, enough food and water and love, their attitude remains “Stress? What stress?”

I agree.

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