We're approaching the time of year when I start to feel like I'm stumbling from one festive event to another. While I love the celebration and connection, I've lived through enough Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years seasons (40!) to know that if I don't care for myself and say the occasional "No, thank you," I'm going to collapse into a heap of exhaustion come January 3. One of the things I've loved about our calendar ever since 2012 when Crystal first handed me one, is how it helps me create space in this full season.
In the 9 years I've been using it, I've gotten much better at planning out the essential activities (4 birthdays, 4 major holidays, 2 school vacations), the semi-essential activities (family traditions, some parties, concerts, tournaments, coat drive) and the optional activities (other parties, other service opportunities, gift exchanges, last-minute gift runs, etc).
Once I started looking at these three months as a whole, it was much easier to see what I had time for and what I didn't. I can say no to things with less guilt because I'm clear that it just won't fit into our life and I'm not going to give up my sense of calm and presence during this special season in order to add one more thing. I'm looking forward to a season that feels like a good balance of connection and calm.