Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Long Absence

Greetings! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I've been away from my blog for almost a week. I didn't intend to take that much of a break, but alas, the pace of my life made it impossible to maintain my blogging responsibilities. :) I was feeling a bit guilty about it, but then I started to think about the importance of balance in one's life.

One of the ways to maintain balance is to take breaks in our normal routine to give ourselves rest. By walking way from something for a time we gain fresh perspective and renew our energy. Often we can return to the task with increased vigor and enthusiasm.

The Jewish Sabbath is one such example. Sundown Friday until sundown on Saturday is set aside to give a break from the normal activities of life. The time has restrictions on what can be done to allow time for visiting with family and friends, rest and other activities that often get pushed by the wayside during the busy days we all seem to live.

For the past week I've been in a very different 'mode.' First, I was preparing for my family to come to my house and celebrate the Christmas holiday. There was much to do. With 13 of us to prepare for. Food for the feast, preparing all the gifts, decorating the tree and the house and attending to all the small details that would make for a magical and fun filled Christmas for all.

Then, the family arrived on Christmas eve and the festivities began. Game playing, visiting, and cooking and eating the feast! After dinner and cleanup, more visiting and game playing. Then the late night activities of preparing for Christmas morning.

I got only 5 hours of sleep that night, as we'd promised my nieces and nephews that we could start the gift opening at 6am. Ouch! :) Another full day of celebrating, gift opening, eating, and playing, playing and more playing!

All my guests went home the day after Christmas, and I sighed a satisfied sigh. Everyone had a great time, including me. Yes, it was a lot of work. Yes, I had to push a lot of important tasks to the side in order to pull off the experience for so many people of varied ages and interests. I was exhausted, but in that wonderfully satisfied way. I had done what I set out to do. I had given a great experience to the people in my life. It felt great.

During all that different type of daily routine, I let the blog go. I wanted to write, but I simply didn't have any extra energy left over at the end of each day to do it! I realized that it is acceptable and even necessary to cut oneself some slack sometimes. It was a time of heightened activity and for goodness sake, I've only been home from the Middle East for 8 days as of today. I was working with extreme jet lag to prepare for the holiday. Something had to give.

Many of my daily activities went by the wayside... the blog among them. It's one of the lessons I'm learning in my life. To allow myself more flexibility during times of intensity and increased activity. I always expect too much of myself and demand that I never skip a beat no matter what is happening in my life. That is completely unrealistic, and yet that is my 'habit.' I"m working to change that and I'm proud to say that I did well during this holiday season.

That explains my absence for the past week. Now, I'm back and very excited to meet and greet the upcoming new year!

From me to you.... I'm wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!!

My Christmas Tree

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