First Things First
by Steph Beth Nickel
Raise your hand if you’re crazy busy.
One, two, twenty … yep, that’s all of you.
Busy with holiday preparations. Busy with your day-to-day workload. And, if you’re a little crazy like me, busy trying to hit 50K in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).
It’s so easy for our priorities to get all jumbled at this time of year. We try to keep up with our year-round responsibilities while adding countless additional ones. As trending punctuation would have us express ourselves … It’s. not. going. to. happen.
So how do we choose what stays and what goes on our To Do list? Let’s put first things first and ask ourselves some questions:
Can it wait until after the holidays?
We must humbly accept the fact that we can’t do it all—not if we don’t want our health and relationships to suffer.
Let’s take a look at our agenda and reschedule what we can.
Does a particular project bring us joy or does it add stress and weigh us down?
While not everything we must do fills us with joy and anticipation, holiday preparations should—for the most part at least. Have we taken on too much? Because it’s expected of us? Because we always do whatever it is? Because we don’t want to let others down?
Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our workload, committing to those things we truly enjoy (and a few we may not) and passing along some of the responsibilities we just don’t have the time or ambition to accomplish.
Can someone else do whatever it is?
This year I’m doing my Christmas baking via two young women I know. Both are raising money for a worthwhile cause by making homemade goodies. I get several dozen Christmas treats made with love, and it doesn’t add any extra work to my holiday season. Win-win!
Is there anything you could pass along this year? Baking? Cleaning? Decorating?
Would it be better for our family and friends if we spent time with them rather than spending hours cleaning, decorating, and baking for the holidays?
Sometimes sitting down to play a game or watch a Christmas movie would be a better option than spending another evening up to our elbows in sudsy water. (Sounds like a better option to me most anytime actually.)
Let’s look at all we want to accomplish, decide what’s the minimum we can get away with, and settle on something in the middle. And when we’re busy with our holiday responsibilities, why not do things together, making it a bonding time rather than just one more stressor?
And, as Christians, we must ask ourselves if our endeavours enhance or distract from our relationship with the Lord.
Are we neglecting our quiet time? Forgetting to pray? And making excuses to play hooky from church? Not good.
Let’s keep the reason we celebrate in the forefront of our mind and our preparations. Let’s keep first things first.
Let’s keep first things first this holiday season. (Tweet this)
Settle on something between all you want to accomplish and the minimum you’d be okay with. (Tweet this)
Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.