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Stress of the Season Acts to Motivate

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Through all the stress of the season, I’m finding a light, or lightness. I am finding that my stress can be a motivator to get things done. As I headed into this past weekend, I felt edgy and panicked—from the list of things in my head I felt needed to get done with Christmas just two weeks away.

The presents needed to be bought, and wrapped. And for the out-of-town family, the gifts needed to be wrapped, packaged, and shipped. As of last week, we still had Thanksgiving decorations in our house, and not one light in the front yard except for the one on the porch. I seriously considered calling one of the numbers I saw posted on neighbor front lawns advertising holiday light installation service. We aren't heavy on tradition with our young family, but we do usually decorate for Christmas.

On top of the holiday duties, work still had to be done, and household chores waited. The size-4T clothes we inherited from a dear friend over Thanksgiving for my oldest son had to be organized (any Mom knows what a task it is filtering their clothes to ensure everything in the dresser and closet fits).

I woke up just before dawn Saturday (again, thanks to my sons), but with a sense of purpose. My head was spinning with everything that needed to be done. I didn’t know where to begin. I started to work on chipping away at the laundry and dishes. While out on our traditional weekend morning Starbucks pilgrimage, we bought a couple gift items at Toys R Us to give our nieces. I found myself getting increasingly irritable as the morning went on, so I made a list. Then I attempted to take a nap thinking it would help clear my head.

I couldn’t stop coughing from a persistent tickle in my throat, and couldn’t sleep. I got more frustrated lying, and kept thinking of more things I wanted to get done. The relaxation pose I learned in yoga class didn't work either, so I gave up after half an hour, and walked downstairs to the questioning look on my husband’s face, “I thought you were going to rest?”

“It wasn’t very restful,” I said through clenched teeth.

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