I am a recovering Energizer Bunny. I’ve been called that, yes. My therapist referred to this “life coping technique” as Industrious Over-focused. I’m getting it all done, covering all my bases in a hurry just in case I need to prove why I’m worthy of keeping around I suppose.

The Perfect Holiday is an easy trap to fall into for people who have my affliction. Do it all and you WIN. But unless you have a talent for military maneuvering and a team of Martha Stewarts, plus a degree in time management, it’s a big jolly “Good Luck With That” to you. Having a personally happy holiday has so much to do with setting realistic expectations for yourself and dismissing others’ approval entirely.

chessie-in-the-pine on the Hurry and the Hush on Shalavee.com

My biggest mistake was always to hit the holiday running but then I’d end up having set the bar too high and felt like a failure when I was such a winner. If all the t’s were crossed and I’s dotted, I thought that was my “happy”. It’s the same affliction many of us have but now applied to decorating and presents. And it’s still all based in extrinsic factors. Like other people’s approval and the need for  acknowledgement of your talents, generosity, or charity.

But this year, I started my planning off with getting some of the big stuff done ahead. Christmas cards were ordered before Thanksgiving. Unheard of and yet I designed and made them before they’d even made it on my to-do list. I get giddy thinking that I don’t have to feel bad and overwhelmed about my Christmas cards this year.

courthouse-lights on the Hurry and the Hush on Shalavee.com

I did not overbook my “outside the house” holiday obligations. So I am sitting here on the 4th looking at all the time left I have left until Christmas as mine. The tree fetching, the Christmas shopping, and the wrapping are all scheduled on my calendar.

I Don’t Feel Anxious. Thoughts of not enough are not running through my head. Instead, there’s no doubt in my head that I will have enough time to do what I need to do and have the rest of the time to be present. My present to me is my conscious and proactive presence during the season.

xmas-tree-2015 on the hurry and the hush on shalavee-staging-1.local

This is me doing my best and letting go of the rest. The busyness for chaos’ sake isn’t necessary for me anymore. I am no longer a chaos junkie. I am clear and quieter than ever and I’m focused on the wisdom of seeing and feeling the difference between the hurry and the hush. I hope everyone has that experience this holiday.

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  1. That is a great article, I can feel you in me. I let go of making the decision not to do cards this year, it was very liberating I must say. I also wanted to say that I love your tree, it is glorious! Always Alliecattyo

    1. Awesome! I am so very glad that my words empowered you to Allie to make any decision just for you. And thank you for your compliments. I can’t wait to see what will happen with my tree this year.

  2. I needed to read this today too. I’ve always admired chaos junkies as somehow being really together and in the Christmas spirit, and “what’s wrong with me?” because I opt out of so much. Thank you for a first-person account from the other side! Your photos are gorgeous – enjoy soaking up the presence of your Christmas! xo

    1. Oh I’m so glad you stop by when you do Dawn. The chaos is such a construct to hang so much disfunction on. I’ve embraced proactivity more and more as a way to even out some anxiety and realized that was exactly the trick. I now have less and less doubt about what I’m doing from day to day. It’ll take time. More Christmas yet to come.

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