Bah Humbug.

I’m not a big lover of Christmas.

You can probably blame that on working in retail for many years. Nothing sucks the joy of the holiday season when you see people acting like assholes and trying to one up each other in terms of gift giving. Don’t even get me started about the day after Christmas Beyond Thunderdome Return Fest…that still gives me hives. Because of this, this is how I’ve viewed Christmas for most of my adult life:

Grumpy-Cat-Christmas-3

My family, thank goodness, gave up exchanging gifts a long time ago. For us, the holiday is all about getting together as a family. This year, it’s even more important since Mom is still going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. She’s doing great, but we’re still in the unknown, “what is going to happen now?” phase of her treatment. Makes me want to get together and spend time more time with my family.

With my in-laws, I think we finally convinced them that we don’t want gifts this year. We live halfway across the country from them and all we do is create a list of stuff we want off Amazon and they buy the stuff. Merry Christmas? I’d rather not have the items, if that’s all that’s involved. Besides, we have everything we want anyway!

This year, I decided to go pick up more Christmas decorations. The meager amount I had worked well when I lived in a 900 sq/ft townhouse, but now that we live in a big three bedroom house, what I have looked sad when I decorated last year. Thus, I went out and bought a 7.5 foot tree, decorations, and other adorable decorations (those birds! *squee*):

While I’m still not big on the whole “gift giving” part of the holiday, I am participating in my work Secret Santa exchange, which is proving to be interesting! I also enjoy the added sparkle of the Christmas lights and the decorations sprinkled throughout the house.

Perhaps my cold, black Christmas heart is finally thawing out? Who knows. But for the first time in a long time, I’m kinda enjoying the season.

I’m still not sending out Christmas cards, though… :)

Busy Busy.

I’m not one of those people who say “oh god, I’m SOOOO busy!” all the time. I used to, but now I don’t.

What changed? I think a job that I love helps a bit. I work with a bunch of amazing people.

I get the opportunity to see some beautiful locations and work with those amazing people in person.

Swimming in the Atlantic. These conditions are inhumane. Photo by Ryan Cowles.

Swimming in the Atlantic. These conditions are inhumane. Photo by Ryan Cowles.

But that’s not what this post is all about. It’s about properly managing your time.

The amazing Sarah Hatter wrote a post named “Managing your busy-ness” that was brilliant in highlighting the why people find themselves to be “SOOOO busy.” My favorite quote is in the very first paragraph:

Let’s be honest here: You aren’t busy, you are just disorganized and things aren’t a priority to you. That’s it. When things become a priority, you want to invest in them properly, and starting with intentional time management is the best way to get out of that faux-busy lifestyle.

She’s so right. We often don’t prioritize our time, so we’re left feeling out of control and that there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done.

I’ll admit, I used to fall in this trap and let the things that are important fall by the wayside because I wasn’t actively managing my time to fit it all in. And it was all so easy to let some things slip by, usually going to the gym or not going to that party a friend was having because I was “too tired” to go. I missed out on a lot of stuff because of it.

It’s like the people who always say they want to exercise, but they “just don’t have time for it.” You always have time for it, you’re just not making it a priority to do it. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to improve your health and well-being? That should be first and foremost!

What I loved about Sarah’s post is that she schedules in her exercise and social time in addition to her work obligations. She makes everything important, and not making social and exercise less important and easy to dismiss if things get “too busy.” Everything counts.

Plus, if everything is in your calendar, there’s no mystery as to what your day will bring. That frees your mind to actually focus on the task at hand and you won’t feel so OMGWTFBBQ!!!1! about everything.

I don’t schedule my exercise, but I’m sure going to do it going forward. Once I’m back from Puerto Rico, that is. :D

How much do you schedule in your day? Everything? Nothing? Somewhere in between?