Winter 2011 Organizing Newsletter
In California the passage of time is subtle. For most of America, leaves crunching beneath feet or adding that extra blanket to the bed signify the beginning of the holiday season. Here the temperature is still a balmy 65. Whatever the temperature outside, the holidays are approaching for us all! Read on for a tip to stay organized and sane this season. I also share with you the number one way to make sure joy is a part of your holiday season. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, check out our offer to get organized for the holidays. Read on…
#1 Tip to Stay Organized and SANE During the Holidays
We're in the age of speed - everything keeps getting faster and faster. Hi-speed Internet, fast-food, 5-minutes to whiter teeth, shakes rather than meals, 8-minute abs, the 4-hour work week.... With all this speed, we're going somewhere fast - but where? Working with my clients, I often hear the remark - "I simply do not have time to get organized."
Take a moment (say the 5 minutes while you're whitening your teeth) and really think about all of the ways you speed up your life. Where is this speed getting you so much quicker? It seems like the classic tale of the turtle and the hare needs to be re-visited. When you're on the racetrack of your day does it merely spit you out at the end, exhausted and catatonic in front of the TV? If so, is all this speed serving you? My wish for you, especially during the joyous days of the holidays, is to live life in the SLOW lane. Really be in the moment when you are doing anything - do not jump ahead in your mind to the next task on your to do list. As the acclaimed author Eckart Tolle profoundly teaches, practice the Power of Now.
Organize Your Holidays Around Joy
Holidays can easily become stuff extravaganzas - food and gifts that stuff our belly and empty our pocketbook. For me, the joy of the holidays is thinking less about what you want and more about spreading the joy of giving to others. In my previous career I had such a cool job! I worked at a charity that provides loving homes – whether foster, adoptive, or group homes – to children and teens that had been removed from their biological homes due to abuse and neglect. Part of my job was to ensure that every single child and teen felt special during the holidays. I would gather their top 3 wishes and promise they would be fulfilled. I remember one holiday in particular. I was at a group home with 6 teenage boys, sitting on the couch while the boys opened their gifts. I sat next to a 17-year-old boy. From the outside, he looked like a man – a deep voice that no longer cracked, a towering stature, and muscles earned by hours of football practice. I would soon see the young boy trapped inside this body of a man. As I passed him his first gift, he looked confused and began to slowly open it. Inside was a package of socks (yes, that was one of his wishes). He smiled and whispered under his breath “this is the first present I ever got.”
The joy I received from hearing that small whisper – not intended for anyone to hear – was better than any gift anyone could have given me. As the holidays approach I encourage you to think of ways you can bring less stuff into you home, but double the amount of joy. Here’s some ideas:
- Rather than gifts, plan a special outing with your family.
- As you plan your holiday meal, make double of everything and donate half to a family in need.
- Get a gift for someone you don’t know. The largest need during the holidays are gifts for teenagers and the elderly.