This season is filled with busy. Extra busy. We thrive on it.

The hustle and bustle in the stores, the preparation for the time off of work and time with family. We run ourselves ragged and sometimes wouldn't even remember the holiday that flew by if it wasn't for the photos.

How are you?

"Oh Busy", you say. Me, too. We don't say "relaxed or happy" as if those responses aren't as worthy as being busy.

My friend, there is no luxury in busy. Busy is stressful and hard and exhausting. Yet, it's the thing we seem to be most proud of.

What does busy even mean and why is it the thing we strive for? I want to be cozy, and relaxed, and content, snuggling with my babies and leaving space in my mind for creativity and love. I want to be enjoying a night out with friends or my husband without the distraction of the, well, busy! This can be a complex thing to unwrap, so how about starting small. For this holiday season, let's make a commitment to planning and doing what we need to, but also letting go of something we don't.

These are the resources that help me to be more present in my life. I've found that just a little tool, nudge, or forethought into the day - not just ones that I read on facebook and dismiss, but the ones that I actually put into quiet action - is how I have found the elusive balance of love, family, life, work, and play.

First and foremost my own health. 

I'm going to add some of these delicious holiday recipes to my weekly dinner menu and order my groceries for pick up. I'm going to continue to do short meaningful exercise sessions in my basement simply because they work and make me feel good. When I do this little bit of practice everyday, I actually create energy. It doesn't mean I'm going to use the energy for more go go go, though. It means I'm going to use the energy to enjoy the rest as an indulgence.

Next, I always come back to this book each holiday season. 

It describes perfectly how I want to live my life most days. It gives me permission and reason to shut off busy. I've listened to it 3 times each holiday season and every single time it makes an impact.

I also use this journal/planner to organize and stay intentional about my days. 

It's different than just keeping a "busy" schedule, as it helps me create meaning towards my goals and gratitude each day. Especially at this time of year, I actually block out a large chunk of time to sit by the fire with a book. (Enter Code HHTEACHER for 15% off your first order!)

Last, I'm going to say no to a few things. 

I have a work gathering scheduled the same weekend as a musical and a wedding. I know that there will be another happy hour in January, so I can say no to the extra party and yes to a night with my kids. I also have decided that sometimes we say no to one of my old Christmas Dinner traditions and replace it with a quiet day at home. It means I don't see my extended family that day, but it means my little family of 4 gets to snuggle and create our own simpler traditions.

I also said goodbye to the evening and nightly news a long time ago. This seems to be a hot topic when I bring it up, but no news = 60 minutes a day of joy in a book or podcast or quiet instead of feeling bad for others that I often don't do anything about anyway. Want to say no to something easy, do this.

What's Next for you? 

I've given you an example of a teacher, mom, coach, wife, friend ditching the busy and choosing the life I actually want. How might YOU let go of busy this season and embrace these last present joyful moments of the decade?

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