The little things are the big things!

The holidays are just around the corner and whether you celebrate them or not–it can be a very stressful time of the year. Now more than ever, especially with social media, that stress is compounded. A personal rule of mine is to limit my social media time to 20 minutes a day max until after the new year. For me it is pretty simple to do as there are other things online that take up my time–like blogging, my YouTube channel, and eBay. Even without those things, I scroll IG to check out feeds of friends and organizations that I support and that takes roughly 20 minutes a day.

I’ve noticed in my conversations lately with friends how pressured they all seem to be to buy, travel, invest etc. Everyone around them, so they say, seems to be causing them a sense of urgency to buy, consume, and invest. I remind them that everywhere we go from now until mid-January the theme of the day is going to be buy, buy, buy in every store we enter. Believe it or not several years back hubby and I were the couple trying to keep up with everybody else. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have the income at the time, that a lot of our friends had, because we still tried to keep up. It doesn’t work my friends and it will not make you any happier. All you find is that you’ve bought a lot of things you don’t really want, you’ve possibly racked up a bit of debt, and, of course, more worries in the bargain.

Personally, I’ve found that the only way to get through the stress of the holidays is to take the time to stop and look around at all of the things in my little home and life that I do have. Appreciate them for what they are and enjoy what I have and not compare myself to others.

Another great stress reliever is to invite family and friends together on a Zoom or FaceTime call and make holiday plans for two years in a row. This way no one feels left out and everyone can see that if not this year, it will be next year. It works for us like a charm–and no hard feelings from anyone doing things this way.

In 2020 we didn’t entertain or have any holiday obligations because everyone we know is in the age bracket to stay close to home and in their own little bubble. Almost all of my friends/co-workers are working from home at this time. Here we are in 2021 and we’ve lost a couple of very close and dear friends and those left continue to want to stay close to home–at least until winter 2021-22 is over. We definitely respect that and I plan on doing what I did last year and that’s bake some goodies and drop plates off to four of our friends who live close by. We’ve already been promised a homemade pie, bread, and cranberry sauce (can’t wait). We’ll make do for another year and look forward to next Christmas and hopefully (fingers crossed) get-togethers. Until then we will make the best of this year’s and I’ll still cook and bake a lot, we’ll watch all of the James Bond films (just like every other year), play board games, read, rest and get ready for another year.

One thing that has always worked for me to do during the holidays is to find a bit of time at the end of each day to reflect on my life, work, home, hubby, marriage, and all the other things I am thankful for. Some nights I tuck myself into a corner in our home and go through album after album of Christmas photos from years gone by and my heart is so full by the time I get through it’s nearly bursting.

You know, every day we are always looking for the next big thing. Be it new furniture, clothing, likes, comments, the fountain of youth, 15 minutes of fame, viral videos, trips, stuff–you name it. But you know as well as I do when you are sick, or have spent time with someone sick or dying, or you yourself have a close call with death all you want is simple, easy, and all the little things. Just recently I was going through a rough patch of car issues, cat health issues, and hubby health issues and besides the praying I did for all to get better and stop hurting, I also sat back and prayed for myself. I prayed for long, boring, mundane days where the problems were easy to solve, no drama, or the unexpected.

What I’ve discovered in my life is that it really is the little things in life that add up to be the big things. We’re all waiting for the really big moments, but you know life is a lot of little moments woven together day to day, month to month, and year to year. So go ahead this year and enjoy each moment of the holiday season.  Whether it is just you, or yourself and your partner, or you have a whole family full of people to please. Enjoy the simple things, relax and find peace in the moments you share with each other, whether you’re just sitting around and sharing fun memories or spending time doing fun things together.

Take a deep breath wherever you are and give yourself permission to go easy on yourself and others this year and enjoy!

Until next time, be well and be safe.

My Word for 2020 is Savor 🌱 🌿🍃

taste (good food or drink) and enjoy it completely.

a characteristic taste, flavor, or smell, especially a pleasant one.

I have another word I’m going to be focusing on this year as well and that is reuse.

use more than once.

the action of using something again.

A chicken carcass cooked up and homemade chicken noodle soup for a cold, wintry day.

The babies of my mature hens and chicks plant from last spring.

I purchased and replanted the momma plant in May and had it in my patio garden all summer, fall, and part of our mild November. I really didn’t want to part with it so I harvested some of the babies and brought them inside. I’ve been watering them and providing sunlight and ventilation. They seem to be doing fine–they’re in loose sandy airy soil with some gravel underneath them. We shall see if I can make this work and perhaps not have to buy another expensive hens and chicks plant this spring.

2019 was an exhausting year for me and really our household. Between looking at houses to possibly move to, working full-time +, keeping up my volunteer hours, writing, reviewing books, gardening, and social media, I was kept way too busy. Then mid-year I developed a health issue due to a lifelong issue and spent the rest of the year in pain, worried, and worn out.. A part of me even at 55 still feels like I haven’t accomplished anything unless I’m completely worn out at the end of any given day. I almost always choose finishing up work, projects, or home tasks before I take a break or go do something fun. Even with my health issue I never missed work, never really rested beyond my nightly sleep, and continued working/volunteering/putting in 60 hour work weeks. Upon year’s end I sat down and took inventory of my life/schedule/hobbies/ etc. and made some changes.

Both this year and last via social media all I see are people equally burnt out, worn out, and looking for simplicity. Though I’m not much for social media, I do love taking pictures and keeping up with friends and accounts I follow that I really like on IG. Most people I follow –maybe 99% are selling something and relying on internet sales for their income.  I am very thankful I don’t have to do that anymore.  Back in the old days I used to create web pages/sites for income and maintained PowerSeller status for ten years on eBay.  Between the competition, and costs, and self-marketing/advertising every day was a challenge. Thinking back though nothing like things are today. I loved it and made many friends all over the world selling on eBay.

Today is very different in the online/internet world. Competition is fierce and things change fast, and people change their minds fast, and are distracted a lot, and definitely trying  100% of the time to stay relevant. Not too long ago, after I hadn’t sold anything online for maybe a year or more, I got an email from someone I’d sold something to 2 years before that. I’m not sure exactly what was going on but she wanted to know if she’d bought anything recently from me and for me to send her an invoice and she’d pay it. She apologized profusely for not taking care of it right away. I of course had no idea what she was talking about but did have her name in my eBay sales contacts as someone I’d shipped something to. We finally figured out that she had ordered from someone else more recently and just hadn’t checked her purchases and finding just any name in her email account she began emailing sellers so she could pay her bill. She had been so busy online that she hadn’t had time to check her email account in several months. Busy people. Things like this happen all the time and the main reason for it is people are distracted, too busy, and most of all competing/keeping up with/updating their status with someone or something online–usually connected to social media. 

So back to my end of year inventory–I decided to:

  • cut down on social media
  • not move and not look for out-of-state home until 2021
  • look at local homes for sales in 2020
  • volunteer at places more local to me
  • smaller patio garden
  • less blogging

More time for savoring every moment of my life! Until next time –be well ✨❄️