Tis the season for giving myself permission. Permission to let go, to relax, to unplug, to rearrange and reorder my thoughts . . . permission to surrender. When my heart is invested in something I have a tendency to be freakishly disciplined. Though not a perfectionist, I can be ruthlessly hard on myself. With my bent toward intense commitment, I’ve had to teach myself there’ll be times, seasons even, when I need to pull back, reassess, moments to catch a breather.
Here are just a few things I’ve intentionally chilled out about in the past in order to maintain my sanity.
Leave the dishes for morning (when I have more energy anyway).
Dry shampoo is my friend.
Turn off the news.
Drastically cut down on social media time.
Step back from writing in order to plot & brainstorm.
Allow my kids to take occasional breaks from activities. Encourage unplugged downtime.
Write out my priorities.
Dust? What’s dusting?
Skipping an occasional blog post.
I don’t go nuts with Christmas décor.
Wear my pajamas all day.
Wear the same outfit multiple days in a row.
I take at least one or two days each year to shut out the world and get lost in Netflix shows/or movies.
I read between chores.
I’m inconsistent with sending Christmas cards. Some years I send them. Some years I don’t.
Who are the Joneses anyway? The only comparing I want to do is with who I was a year ago, ten years ago. My hope is to constantly strive toward becoming a more loving and understanding individual. Checking boxes and keeping a jealous eye on my neighbor or that certain online account won’t get me there. There’s infinite freedom in letting go. In taking the chokehold off life, inviting in the wonders of a life lived untethered to comparisons.
I’ve moved to two new states in the past few years. I’ve come to respect the wonderful blessings that result when I give myself permission to go easy. I’m endlessly going hard after the things I love. In this stretch of life this mostly encompasses taking care of my family and working on my craft. It’s a treat to take a step back from the pressures I’ve built in my mind of how all is supposed to look. Images of a perfectly dressed holiday table with the dog pleasantly seated beside. As opposed to a throw together hodgepodge of traditional family dishes and random foods I know my kids will eat, as the dog is two seconds from devouring a turkey leg.
When I go easy, I allow life to remind me of how simple and sweet it can be.