Baby Steps

We are officially ten days away from Christmas! I get another shot at a day off for Christmas prep on Monday and, to be honest, the remainder of the preparations should start over the weekend if I am going to get it all done. I want my Christmas weekend to be nothing but Christmas movies, music, baking, and celebrating with my family, so I need to get that prep done.

I am continuing my endeavor to wake up earlier so that I can start and finish work earlier in the day—not to mention I love mornings. I work very well first thing and really believe I should take advantage of that. I tried jumping right a new schedule two weeks ago and was thrown way off. The first two days were fine, but then it went downhill until I stopped completely.

Guess what? It was another lesson (I’m like an episode of Full House over here). I actually spoke with my brother and he suggested an alternate route for starting the day: that getting right onto my computer wasn’t the way to go. That I should program my coffee to be ready, get up, grab a cup, and relax for a while until I’m ready and awake enough to work. Now, I don’t like the idea of watching TV first thing—I have a habit of getting sucked in—but the general idea makes sense (don’t tell him I said any of this, by the way).

When we move into our new house, wherever and whenever that may be, I think my schedule will become more refined, but until then, I want to start taking baby steps towards my “ideal” morning; which, as it turns out, would have me up at 5, if not earlier.

I am constantly trying to jump into things head first—essentially go big or go home. But it just doesn’t work for me. It does for a while, but I lose sight and give up. I’ve done it with exercising, yoga (in all aspects of the practice), meditating, waking up early, blogging, writing, reading, personal projects—really you name it. It’s a frustrating thing to admit. I also let situations provide excuses for not doing things. Exhibit A: not living in our own home. Moving in with the grandparents while we search for a house has “stopped” me from doing many of the things I listed above because it’s not my own space and I have other people’s schedules to consider. Guess what? I could have found a way to adjust and I didn’t. I gave up.

Wow, this post took a turn.

I’m getting close to deciding on my New Year’s Resolution and starting to see a clearer picture of what that might look like, but let’s just say intentional baby steps need to be a big part of it.

This morning, I woke up a little earlier than Tuesday (yesterday didn’t count because I had to get up early for a meeting in the city). I also woke up on my own, without an alarm. I opted to make my coffee and write this post to start my day. I’m still far from that “ideal” morning I’d like, but it’s progress and I’ve had a lovely start to my day.

The best things in our lives aren’t handed to us. I know the best things in my life came from some of the hardest struggles I’ve ever faced. At the end of the day, I just want to live my life to be happy and luckily, I have some ideas on how I might continue to do that, but I have to stop expecting to make it to the finish line after one step. In closing, I know there is work to be done, but I sit here grateful for this beautiful morning and what I’ve accomplished.

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Christmas Prep Day: the day after

So as I anticipated, yesterday did not go off with out a hitch. I have none other than yours truly to blame for it, as I got some dates mixed up, which resulted in unexpected work to be done. It would have had to get done anyway, but having to do so yesterday during the middle of my day off was really upsetting and threw my energy way off.

However, it was a lesson learned for me—a lesson I continue to learn all about—and it didn’t have to do with mixing dates up. It had everything to do with choice. Things happen. Maybe it’s that things don’t happen. But life goes on. I eventually got out of my funk, but about 5 minutes into my blunder, my mood was nothing short of crazy. I was panicked, stressed, irritated, and convinced this would ruin my day. I had already made the choice to let this affect my day completely.

So often, when things don’t go according to plan, emotions take over and I lose sight; it’s one of my biggest flaws, in my opinion. I still got a fair amount done yesterday. I didn’t get nearly as much completed as I had hoped, but I got things moving and realized I can fit it into my evenings after work from here on out—I also learned how to use yet another Adobe program (that’s the second in two weeks!).

So much of how my days go begins with choice. I woke up this morning later than I wanted to, I forgot to turn the coffee programming on, so the cup I was hoping for first thing wasn’t ready. The morning I wanted to spend with my coffee and book in front of our beautiful tree was spent starting my laundry and sweeping up cat litter off the floor. But my morning has also been great because I eventually got my coffee and it is delicious. The laundry is started and I was able to help Nick by cleaning up some of the litter. And this lovely morning and its events inspired me to write—which is something that makes me happy.

Life doesn’t live by our rules. It is a series of events that will happen, not only as they want to, but as they are meant to; there is no way to anticipate every detail. I believe that, in many people’s lives (not saying everyone, out of respect for a post I saw somewhat recently), positivity and happiness is a choice… and it’s a choice I plan on making as often as I can so that it becomes a stronger part of who I am.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.

Christmas Prep Day 1

**insert obligatory disclaimer that I am aware of my terrible attempts to keep writing in my blog**

Today is a special day and I am very excited about it! Won’t be long until I find myself wishing there more hours available today, but I am thankful for what I have. This is only the second year I’m doing this, but I am continuing the new tradition of leaving a couple of days of PTO (Paid Time Off) in December around the holidays. I managed to have 8.5 days left for the year (5 will transfer over into 2017) and I already took a half day for a dentist appointment.

That left me with three days I could take for the holidays. I get a generous amount of time off, but what I did last year and am doing this year, is taking a day or two off from work to dedicate to prepping for the holidays! As a result, I have today off, as well as next Monday. Today is dedicated to tackling my Christmas DIY items: things I need to make/do for gifts. Next week is dedicated to final Christmas shopping, of which we don’t have much left!

More and more, as expenses grow and gift funds dwindle, I try to find ways to use the things I enjoy doing and making as gifts. This year, I am creating a custom Christmas card for my family to be given out on Christmas day. I also have a custom card to create for a specific family member’s gift. Lastly—and this one I can’t say much about,—I am putting something together for another family member that needs to be started asap or I’ll find myself without time to finish it.

The main goal of my day, however, is to enjoy myself. I have a hefty to-do list today that could leave me feeling like it’s another day of work, but even if I can’t get everything done, it was a day dedicated to the Christmas holiday and at least I got things started!!! I’m also going to make sure that it’s not all just to-do items that take up my day. I plan on incorporating plenty of Christmas music, eggnog, some reading this evening (my other new tradition of reading a Christmas Carol each year), and maybe even an afternoon Christmas movie.

I have an idea for another Christmas post that explains some of the thought behind the days that I’m taking off (beyond simply needing time to get things done), so I won’t go on much further, but today is essentially my chance to get a little more in the Christmas spirit and to take a lovely, tailored-to-me personal day.

Until next time! ❤