Monday, December 21, 2009

A Tip from Olive

11. The moment you get anxious about getting it all done, set it aside. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and look at Christmas lights.

We all know too well what holiday anxiety feels like. It is that panic as we count the days off. The sound of Christmas music that brought joy now is like a ticking clock. We count our hours in quantities of things to be done. We try to find relief reading email or keeping lists. None of it seems to help much as the feeling of dread is now compounded by feelings of guilt for wasting time.

Before you go running off in panic, take a lesson from Therese's dog, Olive. When Olive comes visiting at my house, she makes NO apologies. She grabs the best chair in the house and perches there for the day. She watches the fireplace and enjoys the sunshine in the windowed room of her favorite chair. Her sister (my dog Macy) is all in a quandry as Macy tries to pry Olive out of her chair. Trying to hoist Olive into a game of "dog tag", Macy will taunt and nip and pull at Olive. But, Olive refuses to be swayed by the stress of Macy's prodding. Olive has calmly embraced the comfort and ease of her favorite chair. This is not say that Olive Schnauzer won't eventually be convinced that a rousing game of tag with Macy is great entertainment, but that wise little pup will embrace the best of the day from the best chair even amid the yipping of her playmate.

Grab a cup of cocoa of tea or even water and watch the day for a bit. Start recounting reasons to be happy and what brings contentment and joy. Such "exercise" is usually all we need to be motivated to get back on track or to stand back from some things unnecessary. How much anxiety each of us embrace or set aside is entirely a choice.

All the Best to You, jill

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