Which do you enjoy more: the last week of the year, or the first week of the year?
Ah … the last week of the year, the Christmas week, the last week of work year, the one week where it’s acceptable to let go of all the balls we’ve been juggling all year. Time to pause, a selah moment, to unwind and just be instead of crazily doing. The one time of the year to embrace the ‘human being, not human doing’ cliche.
It has taken some doing but we’ve finally opted out of the year end festive chaos. A time which on the one had nurtures much bonhomie and drawing family together to create memories, while on the other stretches finances, relationships, increases the sense of isolation, if there is no family with whom to connect, and sends suicide and attempted suicide statistics soaring. But for all the downside aspects of the last week of the year there are a myriad of things that happen in those seven days that make it a week I look forward to each year.
- The atmosphere in the office is relaxed
- It’s okay to walk the paperwork, that’s been sitting on your desk for the last six months, to the shredder and hit the shred button, without a skerrick of guilt
- Control-A the email inbox then Delete. If it’s important they’ll send it again in the first week of the new year. Surprising how few come back (note to self, repeat process in July)
- It’s legal to ignore the ironing pile, the long grass, the dirty car and the science experiments in the fridge …
- Time to deliberately reflect on the passing year and draw wisdom from lessons learned
The weather in Australia during the last week of the year is either 42 degrees C or raining. In the heat we take to the beach or enjoy our own corner of paradise at home by the pool. If it’s raining it’s time to read, take nanna naps and quilt.
I am a fairly well organised person who likes to have a plan and know what’s happening when: I do not enjoy surprises. So the last week of the month is time to start recording important dates and events. In years past I’ve used a filofax-type planner, DayPlanner or DayRunner, but this year I’m sticking with the iCal option plus I’m adding an A4 page-per-day diary. This latest addition to my repertoire is in place of a book into which I write important things to do with work: voicemail trails, things my boss has said (and then reneges on, so this is a very handy backup), as well as the ubiquitous to do list. Having a plan doesn’t always mean I’ll follow it but it helps keep me grounded and able to redirect when life starts to wobble uncontrollably around me.
One of life’s wobble-factors is stress and the pressure it puts on me. I don’t handle stress well and to help manage the whole pressure factor a little better I’ve signed up for January 2014 NaBloPoMo and the theme is … PRESSURE. I plan to use the well thought out prompts as a way to explore why I react to stress the way I do and to identify some strategies that help me to respond to pressure in a more positive way.