D Dennison

Voices Take Flight

Category: Blogs (page 1 of 2)

It’s Time to Buy a Swimsuit: Will it be a One Piece, Bikini or Camo

It seems like time has been swirling by so fast, one day it’s New Years and then the next it’s almost St. Patty’s Day. I keep seeing ads for bathing suits, I guess it doesn’t help that I clicked on one and now the entire internet thinks that I am really in the market for one. My social media pages are swimming in ads for bathing suits and my google searches ask if I need a suit, not really, but it feels that way.

I suppose that it is really time to start thinking about it because by the time that you need a suit you won’t be able to find one in the brick and mortar stores and online you won’t be able to find your size. If you’re on a diet and hope to lose those last 10 plus stubborn pounds or still have the whole road to go, it’s time to man up and just buy one. You could buy one in your current size and in your hope to be size to cover your bases, I mean, it’s an idea. If losing that weight determines which style you go for, just pick one in between what you’re currently comfortable with and the one you hope to wear this summer.

Now, which suit will it be… ooo-la-la or almost ooo-la-la or forget about ooo-la-la and head straight to the camo section. You could just say no to the pool, sand and all of the outdoors. No, you can’t. It’s time to buck up buttercup and do what makes you happy. Do the whole dance like nobody is watching shit. Really, at the end of the day, that’s where it’s at, doing it your style all the way.

The sane approach to this stupid ass summer tradition is to embrace it. If I sound like your crazy aunt, you know the one, she smoked pot before it was um, legal… she didn’t shave her legs before that was a thing (is that a thing) and she always let you stay up later than your folks said that it was okay… then hello honey, call me auntie.

Who do we pick our swimsuits for, ourselves? Do we pick our suits for the other women we may encounter? Oh Lordy, do we pick our suits for our husbands, boyfriends or soon-to-be(s)? Remember that all pictures that are taken of you, should be taken from the chest up, ribs up at the most or just take a picture of your toes in the sand or pool. (Add a can of beer or a frozen drink in the shot and wa-lah!) No one should ever take a full body picture in a suit, and oh my, NEVER let someone take a picture of you sitting in a lounge chair. No one passes the sit-down test, no one. (Well maybe my friend Maggie, but she’s an anomaly from Hungary that dances for a living)

Swimsuits are a way to go out in public (a legal way to be almost naked) and get into the water. If you only want to tan, by the way, that isn’t recommended anymore, doctors these days really frown on us for sunbathing. Go figure! Wait, my point was, skip the suit and get one of those really cute fit and flare dresses at Old Navy. I mean, if you aren’t ever going into the water, why put yourself through that whole swimsuit crap?

When it comes to swimsuits, well, I am kind of an addict, which is funny because I haven’t been a ‘sexy’ weight in like 10 years. I buy too many pairs of boots, designer bags, and swimsuits. The boots, I rarely wear (I’m most comfortable in leggings/shorts and flipflops), the bags, (in fear of ruining them) I rarely wear and the suits I wear all of the time and usually don’t care who cares. I will admit that occasionally, I get self-conscious and reach for a towel to cover up or just jump in the pool, but mostly, I wear me the best that I can. And that is the best advice I can ever offer. Lose the weight, don’t lose the weight… just be happy and be you.

Happy Swimming!!!!

Is Candy Food and Can I Have it for Dinner?

When I say that I don’t want any dinner because my lunch was heavy or too big, does eating a box of hot tamales count as food?

When a burger sounds too much and a salad just sounds like too much work, why can’t a box of Hot Tamales be considered dinner?

Will you argue the sugar is just too much D, Dear Lord grow up, you’re likely to fall into a deep sugar sleep. Wait, did someone say sleep? Oh heck yeah! I am past the nap is a bad idea, scream and cry in circles on the floor at just the mere mention of a nap age… bring it, Hot Tamales!

How about the workout, move your body argument, got that covered too… I watched a Bruno Mars video. Seriously, I did a thing and lifted weights, covered, right?

Oh, you want to talk about lunch, don’t panic, it was salad and soup… a wedge no bacon and chicken tortilla (served in a bowl fit for a toddler). Yes, the salad dressing was Bleu Cheese, on a sixth of a slice of a head of iceberg with some red onions and little red things, I think that they were tomatoes.

Here’s the real argument, I can make it because it’s me and I know me pretty well. I won’t feel like eating food until about 9:30 pm MST. There’s the problem with eating Hot Tamales for dinner. The doc would say it’s dangerous to eat late and go to bed right afterward.  I don’t usually lay my head on a Lavender sprayed pillow until midnight, but the theory is that one should not eat within 3 hours of eating. Why? Good question, so I looked it up. So the real answers are bladdy blah and phoey patootie! Maybe it’s like not swimming for thirty minutes after eating or maybe it isn’t but there are a million answers on the web to the question and they go in all different directions. They say don’t eat, eat, if you eat here’s what to eat and so on.  Quite interesting, actually, all of the different outlooks on eating before going to sleep. The one that I would have to agree with the most is like a trifold, it has a few layers. Eating before sleep, usually meaning late night snacking and that could mean unhealthy snacks. If you are going to eat before sleeping it should be 200 or fewer calories, I know, we COULD have Hot Tamales or Mike an Ikes, but I think the thrust of this is more in the way of carrots and hummus, a hard boiled egg and toast, that sort of thing. Then there is the digestive issue, the recommendations are to wait for your food to properly digest or you could suffer digestive problems, such as GERD and acid reflux (which I think are pretty much the same thing). The consequence of not digesting your food properly also means that you will likely not sleep well and your body needs this time to regain, rebuild and reset for tomorrow. An unrested body could, in fact, lead to a whole slew of bad things.

What have I learned, mmm… well, you don’t get fat by eating before going to bed, you get fat by not moving around and eating like you do. You should eat a low cal snack if you are munchie at night, too much and you won’t sleep well, and on top of that, you’ll have some nasty heartburn. (OH and candy can be food)

Carry on and eat Hot Tamales in moderation, but don’t give on yourself no matter what, a little lettuce, a little lean protein and a little Hot Tamale.

Is Your Friend or Co-Worker an Ass?

It’s a lifelong issue, people. We have to deal with people all day every day. Some of the people that we deal with are not people we would ever spend a minute with, let alone the hours of time we have to work with them, or get treated by them or served by them. How are we to cope with all of these people? Obviously, I am playing around a bit about people, but there is something to it if only a little.

The reason we have friends, or how we get them and keep them is because we find people, if not attracted to like-minded folks. We open our lives to people that we think are like us, who have similar thoughts, ideas and morals. Why? Sometimes not even I can guess why we let people into our lives.

People make us feel better, they bring us joy and are who we surround ourselves with to, amongst other things, ward off loneliness. But because no one is ‘us’ there will always be a slight discord, won’t there? We will always have disagreements, we will always run into that friend that is only in our lives for a season or a reason, and of course, the friend that is there for a lifetime.

What makes a friendship last? Is it honesty, telling each other how we feel whether it’s good or bad no matter the outcome? Is the key to a long friendship just settling for a friend that checks off most of the ‘needs’ boxes and ignoring everything else? Is it compartmentalizing our relationships and not forcing a good friend to sit in a box that really isn’t them? Is it having a cache of friends that we can call on when we want to have drinks or go shopping or see a movie and even do nothing? Picking only the friends for certain events that they are comfortable with and not forcing them to be friends with you in an environment that isn’t their cup of tea? Or rather expecting them to do so. And if this really is the case, why? Shouldn’t we really just concentrate on the people that enjoy all of the same things that we do? Maybe that friend doesn’t exist.

I have had many friends over the years. I have made friends with other women who felt more like family than a friend. I have opened my heart, closed my heart and been left standing in the emotional rain, for a lack of a better way to put it. I know in me that I can be a wild card. I can be your best friend, the friend that doesn’t answer the phone and the friend can go years without seeing or talking to you and pick up where we left off, good or bad, the last time we were together. I am not a perfect friend, far from it and likely less of one in the last five years. I have lost friends because I am selfish with my time and couldn’t give enough, I have said goodbye to friends over too many lies and deception and I have lost friendships for reasons I still don’t know. In the end, I miss some, so glad to have severed ties with others and wonder where some of my current friendships will lead.

If you have a friend that is more like a family member, please cherish that friendship, feed it and be honest with it. Love outwardly like you’d like to see it come back to you. Be positive that it can be what you imagine it to be and guard yourself enough to not give too much of you away.  Remember too that, to be honest, you have to accept honesty and sometimes that is the hardest of all, but if that person is important enough, you can learn to accept whatever darkened clouds come your (friendship) way. Even if that darkened cloud, from time to time, is you.

My Weight Only Bothers Me When I Get Dressed

If you haven’t made a resolution to lose weight you’re to be given an award and celebrated. If you watch even a small amount of tv, you’ve been inundated with programs, plans, scams and magical pills. That leads me to believe that everyone must be on a diet or wants to be.

Here’s my take on the whole thing. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we’re pretty or handsome there are days that we wish we were thinner, there are days when we wish we knew then what we know now. We wish that we knew eating bags of Cheetos and plates of french fries would set us on a path that would someday be so badly booby trapped we’d never find our way back to thin or thinner. As it is, we didn’t and we aren’t as thin as we would hope.

I don’t want you to think that I am a doomsday person and that I don’t think that there is any hope because I do. I know personally that it is possible to undo the damage of years on the couch devouring Cheetos and the like. I also know that it takes a lot of commitment. I once lost 42 pounds in four months and I’ve lost 19-22 pounds a million times. I like to joke that my body just likes to be this weight, truth is, I just don’t really care enough to do the work. I care when I see candid pictures of myself or when I have tried on the fifth shirt or pair of pants and just want to put my jammies back on forever.  But ultimately, I know what it takes and I like foods that don’t like me. My doctor told me recently that my blah blah’s were all over the place and essentially my body was working against itself. Wow, what a shocker. She prescribed some tablet and 4 months in I am still at the same weight, without Cheetos every day, I promise I have tried. I have tried at least 70% of the time.

At the end of the day, if you are healthy and moderately overweight, is it is okay to just sit in your skin and be content? I have said and still, even when I am putting my sweats back on, that no one at my funeral will stand up and say “if only she weighed 20 pounds less”.

No matter how you approach the weight loss thing… please do it safely, don’t binge diet or binge eat and please learn to love yourself more. 2018 is a new year and instead of listening to the ads that say it’s time for a new you, meaning a thinner you, be a new you and be happy with yourself.

Podcast: A Moment of Reflection While Sitting Down with Clint Skutchan

When Clint Skutchan asked if anything was off the table when I  agreed to be a guest on his podcast, I didn’t expect this… I had fun though, and hope to spend more casting time with him and you.

Be forewarned, there are expletives in this podcast, because once in awhile, life mandates a bad word.

Random Thoughts & Miscellaneous Bullshit: Episode 3

If you haven’t yet subscribed to Clint at 2wayc3.com check it out, from random garble to real thoughts that matter about housing, infrastructure and the world.

Thank you, Clint, for the fun time(s) and the, um… unfulfilling lunch! BAH-HA

January: The Reset Button [Life Hack Resolutions]

Am I alone here or do we all wish for a reset button now and again? Throughout the year, I occasionally feel like everything would be better if I just had a reset button. Either my coffee got cold, I washed the whites with a red garage rag or ordered southern fried chicken at a hot chicken joint instead of ‘hot’ chicken. But here’s the deal, January is here, what better time for a reset button than right now.

The new year is pretty much a ticking time bomb because, in a sense, we do believe that it can be a reset button. Why else would we set up ridiculous resolutions like quitting smoking, losing 30 pounds by spring or finding true love, right?

I get it, it’s kind of like saying ooohhh it’s Monday, a new week, a fresh start, a weekly reset button. It doesn’t help or work that way, does it? But I was thinking, we could approach this from a shallow aspect or we could open our minds and embrace the new year as if it could work.

There isn’t really a good formula for making all of the new year wishes and dreams come true, but let’s work together and create a fancy reset button of our own, with no strings attached.  We don’t need to make lists, prep meals for a week at a time or sign up for a crazy work out regime.

Here’s how we create our own reset button for the year and our lives.  We need to keep our expectations in check, from my experiences, expectations are the root of all evil, and here you thought it was money, huh?!? It makes sense, think about it, what has been in more abundance through the years, money or expectations?

This is how it all comes together for a better year, a better day, it’s time to hit the reset button. Don’t hit the reset button just because its Monday or a new year, hit it because you deserve it. You deserve to be happy, to get ahead and to come out on top for once. When you give it a go and let your actions, not your expectations, dictate your life, your ways or your path you’re sure to come up on the winning side more than not. Mumbo-Jumbo, I hear you loudly, but I’m serious. Take something small, little, tiny… take away the expectations and watch the magic happen. I don’t mean the trash, if they aren’t taking out the trash, you’ve likely conditioned them not to so that isn’t going to change, or, not to sound like a sexist, if she doesn’t cook, she likely won’t start because you’ve lowered your expectations. The bigger stuff is what matters most, it’s the expectations of our friends, family and significant others that causes us to lose sleep and smiles.

The people in our lives let us down because we set them up to do so, mostly. It’s been said that we want to be loved, liked, taken care of like we do all of those things. Whether it’s at work or home, a family gathering or at the DMV. Well, maybe not the DMV.  We think that because when they were sick and we came home from work with a video game, sick pop, and popsicles, that they will do the same kind of thing when we get sick, but they don’t.  We believe because we do all of our work and often times co-workers, stay late and work extra hours when needed, that we’ll get the promotion or raise, and we don’t. We expect that our friends will watch our dog(s) like we watched theirs, but they don’t. Oh, wait, did you see that word? Expect! Believe, think, etc… these are words that could easily have been said differently, you could easily exchange them for the word expect.

It’s awesome if we can find people to add to our lives, but to expect them to be and do things just like us, well, that’s where the trouble kicks in.  Other people will just not ever really live up to what you think they should. When you welcome someone into your life, like, love and appreciate them for what they add and don’t worry about the rest.  I’m not saying that you can’t count on anyone, you can, just don’t expect them to carry the moon to you on a silver platter, and don’t lie to yourself, sometimes we do.  At work, do your best and if you’re not happy, then find another job. Easier said than done, yes, it is, but unhappiness won’t change if the environment stays the same. We are just coming off of the holiday season and it might seem like we will all be visited by the ghosts of whatever past, present, and future, but we won’t and neither will our bosses.

Here’s the smooshy stuff… love yourself and know that you are loved. You are loved even if you feel that you are alone sometimes and that nobody gets you. We all love and execute our lives similarly, but in different ways and we all, for the most part, try and do our best. Don’t stop breathing, deeply and remember to lower your expectations, but don’t abandon them entirely.

The Christmas Spirit: What They Don’t Tell You [DEPRESSION]

When we are small, Christmas is about presents and cousins and sugar. As much as you’d like to disagree with me, you know that I’m right. Maybe I forgot Christmas break, it was kind of about no school too.

All the talk about the Christmas spirit is presumed to be the spirit of joy and family and celebration. We’re raised thinking that the Christmas spirit is solely happiness, and love  Think about it, no matter what our family culture looked like, the Christmas spirit was essentially only described one way. The spirit of Christmas was what the grown-ups relied on when money was tight and Santa forgot our number one wishlist item.  Christmas is about being with our families, gifts are secondary, they told us. It didn’t matter anymore that when we saw something we really wanted throughout the year, mom or dad would say, put it on your Christmas list.

Through the years we too adopted the Christmas spirit stories and passed them on to our children. We did this either because of money or because we thought they might be getting a little big for their britches. And for the most part it worked and was really relevant, the Christmas spirit is what we were taught and what we should carry with us at all times. But…

The Christmas spirit that no one talks about is the one felt by more people across the world than we can even imagine, some 300-plus million. Depression lives in many throughout the year, but at Christmas time, starting in November, it becomes unmanageable. Depression can consume even the most ‘balanced’ people you know this time of year. Some people will wear it as clearly as their red sweaters, others will hide within in it, and some don’t really even know what is going on. Depression is a mixed bag of every emotion on the turnpike during a 50 car pile up.

It is said that anxiety and stress hit a fella in the gut this time of year, and I would say I agree. Although, I’m not really sure why that is true. I know plenty of people that are stressed and anxious all year round. It’s just something about this time of year that brings it all to a head. Maybe we spend so much energy throughout the year fighting off these feelings that we simply just run out of steam. It’s not that we give up the fight, we just don’t feel that we can keep up the charade anymore. Either way, it’s a big problem and one that more people find themselves facing every day.

Depression is available in all colors and sizes. One size does not fit all when it comes to this crippling fiend. He can be mild in manner, can be annoying like that friend who won’t quit talking about her new boyfriend (12th one this month), or downright debilitating. The different stages, for a lack of a  better way to put it, wear as differently as the same size jeans by varying clothing designers. No matter how it appears and to whom, we need to pay a little more attention to those around us. We aren’t the only people in the world, we don’t float along in a personal bubble, we are meant to interact, not to feed off of one another, but to be there and to somewhat be held accountable for our human counterparts. Now that doesn’t mean that you should take in every stray and become penniless because of your kind heart, it means to just be aware.

The expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, really comes into play when being human. Looking at me you might not be able to tell that I spent all day in bed or in a dark room two days ago because that was the best place for me to be at that moment. Or that the woman down the street donates to the local shelter because her sister in Portland lives on the streets and that’s all she knows, hasn’t seen her in 3 years. The point of the matter is we just don’t know what is going on in the world around us, to the people around us.

Suicide isn’t always the result of depression, nor are they always seen together. What we can document is that men die by suicide more often than women, however, more women attempt suicide. We know that teens are not more likely to attempt suicide and that during the week more attempts are made than on the weekends. Death by suicide fails more than it succeeds and a family history of depression can lead to more than one family member being affected.

What sets one person off into depression compared to another isn’t fair to gauge, we are all different, we speak differently, feel differently and are affected by the things in our lives differently. Not one of us is wrong or right over the other, we’re all just different and need different things, but one thing is for sure, we all in one way or another need each other. It takes away nothing from you to say a kind word to someone, to see past their smile and see inside. Be kind, be aware, Be the Christmas spirit not the one that lies to us about the reason for the season or the one that turns every room dark, but the one that offers a comforting word, a smile and grace.

Christmas: Finding the Right Gift

Finding the right gift this Christmas seems to be such a chore. No matter who the gift is for, the idea bank is empty. I can’t tell you how many gift sites that I have been to or how many pages I have scanned looking for the perfect gift. I know, before you start wagging your finger in my face, it’s the thought that counts, it’s more about the gift itself and what it says about your relationship with whomever it is for. Now, can I go back to whining?

Do you know that there are as many sites and gift ideas as there are mosquitoes in Minnesota, some say it is the state bird, so, yeah, that’s a lot of gift gifting sites and ideas. And still nothing has stuck, no idea, no gift has really cemented itself in me for my daughter or one of my closest friends.

If you want to buy a gift for the mailman, which I am not so onboard with because mine is quite the passive-aggressive letter carrier. If anyone parks within  3 feet of the mailbox ‘station’, he leaves a nasty note on their car, not asking, but telling the vehicle owner, in capital letters, not to park near the boxes. However, if you or anyone is outside at the time he just throws his mail around and mumbles loudly under his breath, well, not so much under his breath. Anyway, the point is, you can type ‘gifts for my mail person’ and tada, pages and pages of gift ideas for your mailman show up.

If you want to buy a gift for a co-worker you worked with 12 years ago, you could probably type that into the search tab and find a million and one sites that will offer gifts for people you hardly know anymore.

Here’s a question about gift giving searches, do you think that there are sites for people you’re friends with online, but not actually in real life?

Seriously, what do you get someone who has everything going for them? A daughter that just relocated across the country, started her career, bought a house, had a perfect princess wedding and a really awesome honeymoon in Jamacia? Or a friend that has her crap together and is currently packing her bags for a European Christmas cruise? If you come up empty, don’t feel alone, me too.

All of my gift giving struggles and a post on social media by a long time friends youngest daughter has reminded me that it IS time to cut the crap with gift giving. In this hectic world, I bet friends and family would choose door 3 if life were an episode of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’. Behind door number 3 you’ll find a lunch date, just the two of you. Behind door number 3,  you’ll find quality time, a sandwich and maybe a board game date. See gifts don’t have to be the latest gadget or a designer bag, fad or come with a price tag that has you put off paying the light bill until next month. Gift giving is from the heart and that isn’t corny, it’s the truth. How many times have you gotten what you thought was the perfect gift only to see it unopened or unused six months later. The gift of love means more than the thought, not the impulse or competition.

Bottom line, know the receiver of the gift and know that often times it is the gift that you think is under thought or corny that will later become the most valuable.

Merry Christmas and do yourself a favor, in these last few weeks, with dwindling bank accounts and soaring stress, breathe, relax and go with your gut. Remember those gift cards the kids would make, ‘this guarantees you a foot rub’, ‘dishes are done without complaining’, etc… they usually leave the biggest impressions… don’t go for broke, go for amazing. Give the gift of you and your love.

 

Breakfast Just Got Easier: Fried Eggs in the Oven

So, I can’t believe that I, me, didn’t take a picture… and it’s not like cooking breakfast is a stretch or a surprise, but earlier this morning, when I checked FB to see what I could have possibly missed while I slept, low (behold what did I see… fried eggs cooked in the oven!!! Fried eggs, cooked in the oven! GAME CHANGER!!! I learned years ago to bake my bacon, but this was something new. Given the fact that I once bought a pineapple because of the creative pineapple marketing and the commercial that gave an “actual demonstration” of how to cut one, cooking eggs in the oven was a no brainer. The result, damg, (purposely misspelled as to not actual swear) fantastic… perfect… do you know how much easier Easter morning breakfast will be now?!? (not to rush the holidays or time) And, I will actually get to eat with the fam and friends, usually, the egg cooker is the last to eat and typically all alone, not only does that sound sad, it is!!!! Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, preheat a baking sheet, oil it and drop the eggs, five minutes, perfect sunny side up eggs, cooked to perfection and if like me, you don’t like the yolk staring at you, halfway through the process flip it, or even at the end, as the pan will still be hot, carefully flip them and by the time you have flipped them all and gone back to the first egg you’ve flipped there will be a perfectly cooked, not sunny side up egg to plate.

If you cook something other than monkey bread Christmas morning, my grandma used to make fried bread dough with butter and cinnamon sugar, yum, you could try this technique, I promise it is no fail and they taste so good. And don’t forget how simple and easy is that?!?

Enjoy eating and cooking and celebrating, whatever the occasion with your family and friends.

Thanksgiving: The History, Memories, And How to Avoid the Stress

Thanksgiving, a tradition dating back to the early 1600’s. A celebration of the harvest, that would last for three days. It wasn’t until much later that President Abraham Lincoln would tag this celebration as a national holiday. Some would shiver today if they knew that President Lincoln said that this day would be set aside to be thankful and to honor our creator.  Originally, Thanksgiving was to be on the same day/date every year, November 26. This, set in stone date for Thanksgiving would later go on to be challenged or rather flip/flop before becoming a federally mandated floating holiday, so to speak. It was agreed, as suggested by President Franklin D Roosevelt, that it would be better for local merchants if Thanksgiving was set on the 4th Thursday of November instead of the 5th. President Roosevelt hoped that this would help bring the country out of the depression. As today, a lot of people disregarded his plan and only about half of the country went along with this new plan. Was it because of football? Don’t laugh, then, football teams played the big games, the end of season games at this time. With football schedules being set a year ahead, it wasn’t a smooth transition. Finally, in December of 1941, it was proclaimed that Thanksgiving was to be the fourth Thursday of November.

I can’t even remember my first Thanksgiving and barely remember some of the Thanksgiving days in the past. What I do remember is either what everyone usually remembers or just things that make me out to be an oddball. I remember that almost every Thanksgiving my daughter Natasha complains that I make too many appetizers, too many of her favorites and she would get way too full to ever eat her big meal. I remember that no matter how many dinner roll recipes I discover and test run before the big day, bread is the bain of my existence. I also remember that the gravy always needs to be reheated and that attempting 2 new dishes every year is overzealous and not necessary. Oh, I remember that I always want to do one more thing before getting ready for the family and friends to arrive and always get caught still in my pj’s or just getting out of the shower. It may sound like I am only remembering the things that go wrong, and to some, that might be all that you just heard, but what I remember, is that with all of these memories, I find love and laughter. Sometimes I remember not to do something I have unsuccessfully done in the past, like the new dishes thing, I don’t do that anymore. And as of last year, I started letting others bring side dishes, I have learned to relinquish some of the responsibility. (I make sure that I volunteer to make my favorites) I will always ask my son, Zachariah, to carve the turkey and although it may need to be reheated, I will always make enough gravy to feed an army. I will forever add these little Thanksgiving ‘traditions’ to my bank of memories and cherish each and every one of them.

Avoiding stress this time of year isn’t easy, it might even sound like an oxymoron, but there are ways. I don’t mean breathing more slowly, investing in a stress ball or locking yourself in your room until January 5th. Avoiding stress is that simple. As I have learned, after all of these years, give up some controls. Trust me, I know that it is not easy, not simple or a comfy t-shirt you slip on. But, if you’re willing, it can be quite liberating. Like I said before, I let others bring side dishes for Thanksgiving and just make sure that I make my favorites, sure that means the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing, but the little things, you can’t imagine how free just letting go of a few little things allows you to be. When it comes to Christmas decorating and shopping and wrapping, there are ways to lessen the stress too. I’m not going to tell you to handmake all of your gifts, if money is an issue or get everything online if your time is short, I don’t even plan to tell you to let the boy scouts wrap your gifts (although that does help them and you). I want to tell you to think, think about Chrismas past, pay attention to your disappointments in the gifts you’ve given, if you are anything like me, in the past, I would buy gifts that they wanted, but also gifts that I thought that they would like. Stop doing what you think will be appreciated, remember the disappointments you felt when they didn’t LOVE it like you thought that they would and stick to a solid plan that will save you time, money and unnecessary stress. Wrapping presents used to be so stressful to me if my tree was gold and red, all of the gifts would have to be wrapped in gold and red. One year I went to too many stores to find the right red wrapping paper and was completely stressed that I couldn’t find any, I remember standing in Target thinking, why doesn’t anyone have red wrapping paper, oddly enough the other color scheme I use is blue and silver and that is all that I could find. We are our own worst enemies when it comes to stress, we tend to stress about things that will never matter, they really will never matter. Think about it, if you love your family and you show them with your words and their favorite meals, do you really think that it will matter that they have one or two gifts instead of five or six? Do you think that it would have ruined anyone’s Christmas if I had just bought the silver and blue wrapping paper and placed it under the tree, the red and gold tree?  I can’t really tell you not to stress over money, but if it’s a toss between rent and presents, remember that a home is a gift and much more important than a gift that will be forgotten in six months. Make your favorite foods, build gingerbread houses, watch a holiday movie together and know that next year or even by February, things will turn around and you can make crazy fun family memories with a Christmas in March, why not?!?

I can’t pretend to know the stresses you may be facing, the memories that you enjoy or try to run from or if you care l about the history of Thanksgiving, but I do know that life only asks of us what we allow it to and far too often, we misinterpret what that is.  No, this isn’t where I begin telling you to breathe, I would, however, ask you to do one thing… think less and live more. (I guess that is 2 things)

Older posts

© 2018 D Dennison

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑