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A Saner Way to End the Year

There are about two-and-a-half weeks left of 2017. That sentence will leave some people feeling hopeful and excited and some people feeling freaked the F out.

I find that the speed of life tends to increase as we head toward the end of the year, and I sometimes get this macro version of the Sunday night blues as December winds down. (Though I must say I dramatically decreased this by upping my Vitamin D levels!)

There are these anxious thoughts I start to get:

Did I make the most of my year?

Did I do all of the things I wanted to?

Did I make my life meaningful this year?

Did I grow enough this year?

Is my Christmas shopping even close to done? Have I even started yet?

Is this holiday season feeling special enough?

Did I spend enough time with all of the people who mean the most to me?

Am I going to wrap gifts this year with enough crafty ingenuity?

Is my house clean enough to start a fresh new year?

(Yep, that last one sneaks in there. Somehow I feel like when the clock strikes midnight on the first of the year, my desk should be paper-free and my clothes should be organized by color. Lord knows where this came from.)

If you’re like me and you get a little anxiety/bummer energy at the end of the year, read on because this one’s for you, my dear.

With my relatively new Do Less philosophy that I adopted about 18 months ago, I can’t help but look at everything through that lens.

And when I look at year-end blues and anxieties, they tend to be connected to my tendency (which I’m focusing on crowding out) to think that more is always better, and constant improvement in every area of life is the Holy Grail.

I start measuring myself against some vague ideal, and I start falling short. That’s how I know that I’m off track.

Here’s some truth for you:

  • We’ve had years in business where we made less money than the year before. And while at the time I felt ashamed of that because I’d been brainwashed to believe that only growth is good, I now honor that that’s totally normal and part of the cycle of business and creativity.
  • Sometimes I gain weight over the course of the year instead of losing it. I used to think I was an out-of-control slob, and now I realize that it’s total normal and healthy to fluctuate a little bit up and down, especially during the childbearing years.
  • I usually don’t do many of the things I set out to do at the beginning of a new year. I do some of them but never all. And that’s totally normal and healthy, too. It doesn’t make me a failure. It makes me human.

In two and a half weeks, you and I will be bombarded by messages about “New Year, New You” and how important it is to take the world by storm right at the beginning of the new year. We’ll be marketed all kinds of opportunities to improve and grow and get ourselves into shape and overhaul everything.

It’s seductive, this feeling of a clean slate. And I’m all about a fresh start, too.

But I also want to give us both permission to simply be ourselves as we move into this new year. You don’t need to make more money to be more valuable. You don’t have to do yoga every damn day to be worthy of taking up space on the planet. You don’t have to get better at anything next year in order to make your year worthwhile. You don’t have to set goals or strive for anything.

You’re good exactly as you are. In fact, you’re spectacular. 

Will I set intentions for the new year? Of course. I love doing it. It feels aspirational. It feels hopeful. It feels good. But this year, perhaps you’ll join me in dreaming from a place of fullness rather than emptiness. From a place of wholeness instead of from a place of being broken.

If we’re good with who we are now and not feeling like this is the year that we finally “fix ourselves,” I have this sneaking suspicion we’ll feel a lot more whole this time next year. And every day in between, too.

My house will not be perfectly clean and organized the morning of January 1, 2018.

I will not have spent all of 2017 exactly as I intended or created all of the things I hoped to create.

I will not have wrapped all of my Christmas gifts with crafty ingenuity. Most of them will be delivered in reused gift bags. (Fist bump to Mother Earth.)

But I will go to bed on New Year’s Eve well before midnight knowing that I was me all year long. On New Year’s Day I will wake up and I will still be me. And I will know that it’s more than enough.

OVER TO YOU:

How do you plan to make this holiday season sane and special? Tell me in the comments!

P.S. Our company is taking the last two weeks of December off. Because #DoLess. Because sanity. You’ll hear from us the first week of the year with a brand new Kate & Mike Show episode and a brand new blog! Happy Holidays!

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