I usually feel stretched thin during the run-up to the holidays. This year is no different.
Some time around December 15th, things start to turn. The reserve of holiday cheer starts to get hit pretty hard and doesn’t get replenished til Festivities Are Had. It’s the run-up that has a particular form of burnout, especially as a parent or caretaker.
Parents have their own lists that they check twice: gifts, food and things to bring from one house to another, and on and on. And let’s be honest - those lists aren’t evenly distributed in household partnerships.
Even so, stresses mount.
That’s what’s happened again for me this year. I’m not missing key obligations, but I don’t have much “extra” left, either. By the end of the year I get introspective and feel the weight of everything that was done and left undone.
There are newsletter posts that didn’t make it past the idea stage, interviews that didn’t get posted, and interviews that had technical problems; there was weight that was lost and regained, books that were bought but not read, emails that were drafted but not sent. The “should-do” list has gotten longer as the remaining days of 2021 dwindle down to zero, but I’m getting better at giving myself grace for not being super-productive at every moment (and I think we are as a society as well, though not equally, and not at the same time).
There are also many things to celebrate in 2021: the launch of a podcast network, a TV appearance, a book deal.
All of this happened in the backdrop of a global pandemic that will soon be stretched into its third year.
So, if all goes well, there will be one more episode for this year. Then I will be taking some time off through next week and then enter 2022 with a focus on book-writing and podcasting. This newsletter, in that 6 month period, will be an extension of those efforts.
I’m thankful for a lot this year, starting with the health of my family & expanding outward from there. There’s still so much pain and uncertainty in the world, and as the Omicron variant spikes, so does anxiety. My holiday wish is that you can find your own sense of peace and rest, and extend kindness to yourself and others.
Thank you all for reading. I’ll talk to you soon.