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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Just breathe.

It feels like there is so much that needs to be done. In truth, nothing really NEEDS to get done. I know that, I do. But the anxiety surrounding the holidays got to me yesterday. I needed to take a breath, close my eyes, and listen to something beautiful.

Do something special for yourself today, and take a moment to just listen to a favorite Christmas song. Slow down, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and forget about gifts to be finished, baked, bought or ordered, the wrapping paper, the cookies, the big dinner.

You will still have plenty of time to rush about, and get it all done. But for this moment, just pause.

There are many Christmas songs that I love. But there's this one song, when I hear it the tears flow. I thought I'd share it today. (If it won't load for you, here's the link)

Audrey Assad -- Winter Snow


Live and Learn said...

A very lovely song. Unfortunately, my computer stopped four times in the middle of it. It's a problem I've been having recently that I haven't been able to solve.

I feel like I am pacing myself pretty well as far as Christmas goes. Busy, but not crazy. We'll see if that continues as we get closer.

Kris said...

Hmm, this seems to be a theme. I try to not overtax myself but somehow things get added to my schedule making it crazier (field trips to chaperone, etc.). I decided not to put in any hours at work this week--our weather has been pretty awful and I just have too many things to accomplish. I'm not a stay-up-till-midnight kind of a person just to get things done--every time I overdo it, I get sick--God's way of saying, whoa, slow down there, missy! :)

Liz @ Economies of Kale said...

I'm in the middle of packing to go to Melbourne and finishing up presents and cleaning the house (so it's nice when I get back), so this advice was very timely :)

Jayne said...

thank you for sharing such a beautiful song -- I've never heard it before, and the lyrics are so apropos to my winter wonderland. I couldn't access it from the link you provided, but went directly to YouTube and accessed a version with gorgeous photos included -- youtube/Gy29mQfiavg

Your reminder about taking time to breathe is very timely too --Thank you!

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
Oh, I'm sorry the youtube didn't work for you! Anyway, good for you for not getting yourself super busy! Enjoy this last week before Christmas!

Lili said...

Hi Kris,
Of course, I'm not an expert, but it sounds like you have the same syndrome that I have -- CSN Syndrome (Can't Say No). I'll be working on my CSN in the New Year. I seem to get drafted to do all sorts of things, especially this time of year. A thought occurred to me yesterday -- just because I have the time doesn't mean I have the energy. I haven't found a polite way to say that I don't have the energy to do something, in a particular week.

Try to take moments to refresh yourself, in the next week.

Kath Berry said...

Thank you for this. I really needed to pause.

Lili said...

Hi Liz,
that last minute rush to get everything all together for a trip is so stressful for me. Good luck with all your efforts to get everything done.
And have a wonderful Christmas with your family! You must really miss them the rest of the year!

Lili said...

Hi Jayne,
Your welcome. It's one of my favorite songs this year. I'm glad you liked it. I have it in the side bar on my lap top and close my eyes and listen to it whenever I am feeling stressed. Good luck getting all your preparations done for Christmas!

Lili said...

Hi Kath,
You're welcome. I hope you are finding time to take care of yourself over the holidays.

Linda said...

beautiful, simply beautiful

Delores said...

Lili, dear, my taste in Christmas music tends to run towards the traditional hymns. But I have to agree, this piece is lovely, indeed.
Have a peaceful and blessed Christmas.
yours truly, Delores

Lili said...

Hi Linda,
I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful week before Christmas!

Lili said...

Hi Delores,
I have several traditional hymns that are favorites, as well. Hark the Herald Angels Sing (especially when sung by Nat King Cole) and Little Town of Bethlehem, as two of my favorites.
I hope that your Christmas is filled with peace, blessings and joy!

Delores said...

Oh yes, I love those two songs. And there's nothing sweeter than a child singing "Away in a Manger".

Anonymous said...

I can not get the YouTube video to play.

Lili said...

Completely agree!

Lili said...

Oh I'm so sorry. Did you try the link, in the last paragraph?

EcoCatLady said...

You know... this year has been so much upheaval for me - Sputnik got sick, and wasn't supposed to even still be alive now. CatMan broke his pelvis, Smoky got sick and they thought best case scenario was that it was lymphoma and he'd live maybe a year - but he seems to have had some sort of miracle cure. My mother died and I had to deal with all that, and just last week one of my best friend's father lost his 2 year battle with cancer...

Anyhow - I guess I'm just having a hard time getting worked up about the holidays at all. Guess it sorta put things into perspective for me. Who cares about the gifts and the cookies and the big tadoos... just be grateful for your loved ones and hold them close.


p.s. Beautiful song... thanks so much for sharing it.

Lili said...

Cat, I'm so, so sorry for all the horrible things that have happened in your life this year. I do understand how you feel. I had a year like that, many years ago, and well, I just didn't even want any Christmas at all that year.

I am glad for you, though, that you have CatMan, your cats and many friends and family to share the holiday with. You're absolutely right, the gifts, cookies, decorations, just don't really matter. Who remembers what kind of cookies your neighbor gave you last year, or what the decorations at the mall looked like then? But we do remember the people that we spend the holidays with.

Have a lovely Christmas.

Kris said...

I have another syndrome--the Overestimating How Much I Can Get Done Syndrome (aka OHMICGDS). Ha!

Something I've been struggling with lately is that because I don't work a regular schedule, feeling like I'm not productive enough or contributing enough ... so I take on more volunteer activities ... I'm wondering if those of us who work minimally or not at all outside of the home struggle with that. I also find that my schedule varies widely so availability I have during one time period may not be what I have two weeks later. And sometimes life just gets busy (dentist/eye doctor/well child checks, etc.).

I was quite proud of myself in the fall--our pastor called asking me to volunteer for our new Awana program and I didn't hesitate to tell him no--he was really trying hard to talk me into it and I told him (nicely!) that there was only so much of me to go around. You're right, having a prepared phrase for when people ask for help makes it easier to say no. I keep trying to remember that I don't need to explain why I am saying no--it's okay just to say no (but it's soooooooooo hard for me not to explain why!).

Lili said...

Kris, I have a related syndrome. UHMTIT (Underestimating how much time it takes), and I wind up over-committed because I don't seem to know how long any one thing should take me. (It's also why I have a difficult time being on time.)

I am still working on a pat phrase for when asked to do more than I feel I can do. The best that I seem to have come up with so far is, "Oh, I'm sorry, I have a thing that day." A little vague, I know.

I have heard from experts in the field (how odd is that there are experts in the field of "saying no") that you don't owe anyone an explanation, but a simple no should be enough. I'm working on that one, too.

EcoCatLady said...

Thanks Lili,

In some ways it's been a horrible year, and in others it's been really good - there is much to be grateful for and this year has helped me to remember that.

I think CatMan put it all into sharp focus for me on a bike ride a month or so ago. It was a rare warm day in the midst of a cold snap, and we got a late start, and then I got a flat only a few miles from home so I was grumbling about the fact that we had to stop so I could change the tire and it was gonna cut the ride short.

Anyhow he said something like "You know... there will come a time when you will long for the days of changing flat tires." And he was totally right. I have SOOOO many blessings that I take for granted, so I need to remember to be thankful for the fact that I can even ride a bike in the first place!

So don't sweat the small stuff, and have a wonderful holiday with your family. Hugs to you!

Lili said...

You seem to have a good perspective on life, Cat.
Finding the good is so important to mental health. When I was having a negative day, all I could see was all the things not working out, and I was feeling so miserable. But then at the end of the day, I listed the things that did work out, and overall, I'd had a positive day.

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