Boy have Christmas breaks changed over the years.
When I was in college, unlike some people (I’m talking to you, Ryan Woodard), taking time off from school never involved a drunkin escapade to Cabo. Rather, I’d travel with my softball team to play in a tournament someplace sunny.
I always seemed to come down with strep throat…a fate that followed me every year as the seasons changed until I had my tonsils yanked out when I turned 30.
The first year I entered the real world with a full-time corporate job post-college, it dawned on me that grownups don’t get Christmas breaks or Spring breaks or any other rejuvenation periods built into their calendar year. Grownups get Paid Time Off (PTO) based on their years of service. And, for some odd reason, there are people who bank their PTO as a badge of honor – refusing to take a single day off unless they’re on their death bed.
I’ve never understood those people.
And, by not understanding certain things I observe in others, I’ve come to better understand myself.
I’ve learned a lot throughout the past year.
1. I relate to what the author of Hands Free Mama has to say. I see my life as over-scheduled and over-committed and when I try to balance it all and fall short of my own self-imposed expectations, I implode on myself and explode on others. This kind of behavior is avoidable…with proper perspective.
2. I need motivation to stay fit. While I’ve grown in all other aspects of my professional life by working at a new company, I lost a support group of fitness friends when I left my former one. Time for me to kick my own butt back into action. I don’t like being squishy.
3. There will never be a greater source of satisfaction in my life as my kids. Roll your eyes if you want (I don’t blame you), but it’s the truth. They have this crazy way of making life seem as meaningful and memorable as it should be.
4. There will never be a greater source of frustration in my life as my kids. My middle one broke his left arm on my third day at the new job a year ago, and then broke his right arm on my birthday this year. My youngest has had “poop farts” (her own words for diarrhea) all day today as we head into the holidays. Hooray! My oldest came upstairs for a 25-minute lunch break before declaring to the world that he was descending back down to the MAN CAVE. Because he’s a (soon to be 12-year old) MAN.
5. I feel like I’m a fairly laid back woman, with the exception of how I relate to my husband – the aforementioned Ryan Woodard. I don’t care that we have the same “we always manage to have it all work out, don’t we?…” conversation every year, shopping 48 hours prior to Christmas is annoyingly irresponsible. He’ll never convince me otherwise.
6. My parents make me laugh. After succumbing to the realization they were among the last dozen or so Americans who don’t own a computer, they allowed me to pick out a laptop for them. Upon opening it, my dad said, “What’s this kind called? An Ass-us?” The brand is Asus. I did not correct him.
7. Whenever I’ve doubted whether the stuff I write even makes a difference to anyone but me, I’ll remember that this piece Do not for one moment believe you are all alone connected me to a life-long friend who I’d previously lost touch with for over a decade. In her words, “Reading someone’s writing can affect your day, or, if you’re lucky to read something truly inspirational at just the right time, sometimes affect your entire life for the better.”
8. I will never regret meeting someone new or hearing different perspectives.
9. I also will never regret setting goals…even perceptibly lofty ones. Because even if I only finish 80 percent of what I set out to accomplish, I’m still 80 percent better than what I once was.
10. Anchor Man 2 is worth the price of admission.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday. And that’s not just lip service. Have a WONDERFUL Christmas break.
Written by Heidi Woodard