Time is short. No matter who we are or where we come from, the seconds on the clock keep ticking away. During the holidays, we can fall into obligations with past traditions that have long lost their meaning or eating another meal with family members who seem to bring out anything but your holiday cheer.
For some of my friends, this time of year will be especially hard as they experience their first holiday season without loved ones who have recently passed away. Caught up in those “firsts” will be memories of “lasts” accompanied with smiles fight through the tears that will undoubtedly come.
We are all given the same 24 hours in a day and we must be diligent with how we spend every minute.
The requirement we all feel is to keep the peace. That we sacrifice our own hearts to keep the hearts of others safe. Yet when we get a few moments to look back and reflect on what we value and what we cherish most, are we sacrificing our own wishes to keep others happy?
But when it all comes down to it, where would you rather be?
Some of you may be asking yourself, “How do I choose?”
It sounds more difficult than it really is, but here a few tips to get you started:
Don’t overextend yourself. It’s okay to say no. We all appreciate the invitation, but trying not to be “everything to everyone” will relieve more stress on yourself than you even realize. And don’t feel guilty about it either. Believe it or not, this is exactly what you need.
Forget about the money. People don’t remember the amount of money you spend on a gift, but they do remember if it is significant. There doesn’t have to be a reason for the present, but it should always be given with love.
Create memories. Life is better spent when we take even the simple moments and they become a memory that lasts forever. Little things like laughing when you get on the swing at the park without any kids or dancing in the pouring rain.
Remove toxic people from your life. No one is entitled to anything. We are not given guarantees. If you cannot remove them completely, at least limit your time with them. Make no apologies about what is best for you.
Chase a dream. Find the courage to do something that sets your heart on fire and share that with the rest of the world. Never let an excuse or the lack of believers detour from giving it everything you have.
Live with no regrets. At the end of our days, we should look back and be able to recollect everything great we did and how even the mistakes made our lives everything it is.
Give yourself away. Whether that is in a smile to a complete stranger, a compliment to your best friend, or a long hug to a soldier returning from war. Leave a little piece of you in the lives of others. In doing so, you will be changed as well.
We all have choices. Some are easier than others.
When it all comes down to it, we all know what matters most. It’s about sharing our lives with the people we love most, doing something that of value, and creating a legacy that lives long after we are gone.
Take pictures. Laugh out loud. Tell and retell your favorite stories. Live outside the box. Leave nothing left unsaid. Write your story. Create something from nothing. Give something to others. Experience life. Venture off the beaten path. Risk something. Go all in. Dream big. Cry your heart out. Inspire others