Dec 12, 2015 · 2 minute read

By: Colleen Valles

There is so much going on.

I always forget how busy the holidays can get, and just the other night, I was reminded of that when I sat down with my boyfriend to try to work out our holiday schedules, a task complicated by us living in two different towns.

The truth is, doing this the second week in December means we’re already really late in the game. At work, we had to get our requests for holiday time off into the boss in October. I tried to nail down my boyfriend then, but he is a notoriously bad planner (we may talk about this in a future post where I seek your assistance) so I went ahead and made my plans, which I then informed him of.

The exercise brought home just how much is going on and all the choices we have to make. The tough part is we’re going to have to say no, and we’re going to have to let some things go.

I’ve already said no to a holiday gala for work, and another get-together this week because my daughter was sick. That’s another wrinkle: In addition to shopping and parties and more responsibilities, this super-busy time is compounded by also being the prime time for colds and flu.

Even if we all stay healthy, there will be a lot more “no’s” in the weeks ahead as we try to figure out the best use of our time.

The way we do that is by knowing what is important to us.

For us, that’s spending time with our kids, our families and each other. It’s not attending every party or baking tons of cookies for everyone at work.

The hardest part for me is realizing that I can’t do it all, and being OK with that. I mean, if I don’t do it, it’s not going to get done.

For instance, my list of things to do this weekend is 42 items long.

Yeah, you read that right: 42.

That isn’t realistic, and I know it. If I did do all those 42 things, my weekend wouldn’t be restful; I wouldn’t get to have any fun; and I wouldn’t have time to do the things that I love. Because let me tell you, those 42 things are things like “wash all bedding in the house,” and “care for newly spayed kitty.” They’re not things like “knit for 4 hours while chatting with friends” or “write a chapter of the novel-in-progress.”

With a list that long, I have to pick and choose what to do. I’m not going to get it all done, and there’s just one thing I need to do:

I need to take a deep breath and let it go.

The world won’t come screeching to a halt if I don’t file that stack of papers this weekend. I’ll get to it in the next couple of weeks, and in the meantime, I’m going to see if I can fit in four hours of knitting while chatting with friends.

What do you let go of during the holidays?


Image: Anna
Colleen Valles
I'm Colleen, a writer, mother, knitter, pet mama and tiny house enthusiast who truly believes that everybody should slow down and simplify to make room for the things that are most important in their lives. I'm on a journey to do just that, to be able to spend more time with family and friends, riding my bike and working in the garden. Sign up to get awesome content right in your inbox, or follow me on social media.