Nov 26, 2017 · 2 minute read

By: Colleen Valles

I’m thankful that Thanksgiving was on the early side this year, because there’s an extra week between that holiday and Christmas. When it comes later in November, it feels like Christmas follows it so fast.

We’re not even out of November yet, and there is so much going on. An added complication is that my fiancé and I are a long-distance family, and we need to work out our arrangements with our kids and exes. Scheduling during the holidays is like a next-level game of Tetris. So we do our best to make it work and have fun, but we do have to miss some things, and that forces me at least to slow down.

I always forget how busy the holidays can get. There’s all the regular stuff of life, plus holiday parties, baking, decorating, gift-giving and more. It’s also a prime time for people to get sick. And then there’s trying to find time around all these events to do the work we love.

This is the hard part of simple living–the letting go. The minimizing of the schedule. Even if we all stay healthy this season, there will have to be a lot of “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 me and my fiancé, 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, though I do love to do that.

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 was 28 items long.

Yeah, you read that right: 28.

That isn’t realistic, and I know it. If I did do all those 28 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 28 things are things like “wash all bedding in the house,” and “figure out why my budget doesn’t match the bank’s balance.” 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?


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.