The countdown has begun. The time between Thanksgiving (US Thanksgiving, the 4th Thursday in November) and Christmas feels more like a life version of “American Ninja Warrior” this season than something cozy and festive. The primary dilemma is the coordination of resources, predominantly time and money.

For me, the rough month is a plethora of the loose ends of kids activities that need to be wrapped up. On the list are: gymnastics, floor hockey (floorball), piano lessonswith piano Christmas concert, Lego robotics league with competition and Cub Scouts.

My son also decided to be born in early December so there is the coordination of those activities including his request for a “friends” birthday party at MY house complete with a Nerf dart gun war. I just got off the phone from arguing with him why the main living area of my house is not a good place for a gaggle of fifth graders to conduct this.

On the money front, I’m feeling the overall pressure of not having much…or any for that matter. Now that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, it requires close watching and a fair amount of stressing over as I always seem to forget some check I wrote or some upcoming expense. Now I’m adding in the perils of holiday shopping. One small bright spot is that I was able to cash in a fair amount of credit card “Rewards” for gift cards. This at least earmarks money for gifts for the kids.

In reality, I’m stalling. This is maybe my old pattern of procrastination. Wait until the anxiety builds to an extent that calls the rest of me to action. Part of my writing this is to affirm that realization. To give myself permission to be stressed, but not to not do anything about it.

In essence, my sanity comes down to being realistic about my priorities. My mind wants to be doing other things. Namely, work on the basement remodel that has picked up some momentum. The reality though is this is not the most important thing on my schedule. Making a concise list, it’s probably not even in the top 10 based on time and resources. Thus, it can wait until a quieter time.

I think writing, even it is a little lament such as this, also needs to be higher on the priority list than I sometimes allow it to be. This is where the roots of my sanity and organization occur. This is where my center is. This is home. Already I feel steadied and a little more prepared to tackle the things in front of me.

The next centering will be to reset my house. After a week of sick kids and being sick myself, it is in need of a cleaning. The cleaning becomes the flexible point for hosting my son’s party and for setting up for the holidays. The organization is also calming to my mind. In hindsight, I had no idea how relaxing a clean countertop or dinner table can be.

From centered comes perspective and gratitude is easier to see. Things will be ok. I just need to move and be sure to breathe.

And Now, a Gratitude List

  • Having an understanding girlfriend
  • Having strong, loving children
  • Going to church today, it started this ball-a-rollin’
  • Peppermint mochas
  • Ebay (a fun hobby)
  • An attached garage for the impending winter
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • The new Metallica album