Reclaim what is mine.

Did you all have a great holiday yesterday? Anyone get any snow for Christmas?  We did not, however since this is Indiana, I’m sure that we will soon have more than we can handle. 

I found the jar that I’m going to use for our HL Challenge exercise in January.  Now all I need to do is cut out some slips of paper and gather a couple of pens so I’m not spending all of my time looking for things to write with/on. 

I’ve been mentally preparing for this exercise by practicing gratitude in my mind but am finding its not the same.  I need to go through the act of physically writing it down and putting it somewhere that I can see it.  Physical reminders are so important and can give instant positive feedback.  Plus, just thinking about what I’m grateful for ends up leading to thoughts of needing to fill up my bird feeders, brush the dogs, clean house, etc.  Not the best use of this exercise.  So, yes – I’m looking forward to starting my Gratitude Jar. 

Yesterday was Christmas.  Even though my morning started out well, things quickly changed as the day progressed. I ended up in a very bad place emotionally by mid afternoon and found myself quickly wishing for the holiday to be over.  Forgive me for not going into detail, here.  Some things are just better left unwritten.  I will say that while I thought I’d set boundaries in place I realized by the end of the night that I will need to take things a step further.  If a family member causes havoc every holiday it’s more than reasonable to want to remove oneself from distress, but the real trick I’m finding is being strong enough to follow through.  I grew lax this year, hoping things would get better, when clearly they only worsened. 

I never again want to be put in the position of spending another holiday feeling anxious and sad.   My husband and I have agreed that if certain conditions aren’t met next year, we’re packing up and taking a vacation over the holidays.  Either way, I’m taking back my holidays.

The thing about going to bed sad is that you almost always wake up in a funk as well, so this gal is signing off and heading straight for the treadmill.  I’m on week 4 of C25K and I think if I run fast enough, I’ll be able to leave this sorrow far behind. 

Gratitude – I’m grateful for the opportunity to outrun a heavy heart.  Or at the very least, make myself too tired to care. 

 

**I will have an official overview of January’s Challenge THIS FRIDAY.  If you’re participating, you wont want to miss it.  See you then. 

~Ellen

12 thoughts on “Reclaim what is mine.

  1. Vickie

    I did exactly that last year. We were gone for Thanksgiving and Xmas 2011. It was enough for me to break the cycle. This year I was in town for both Thanksgiving and Christmas but did not step back into old patterns. HUGE DIFFERENCE in what the holidays meant to me. HUGE.

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      I stood by my vow to leave early if things became too intolerant. The problem was, by the time we left the damage had already been done. It came on so quickly this year. Maybe a lot of that was due to my not being at 100%; being tired; maybe a bit hopeful. Clearly I have to make some further alterations to my previous plan. I’m so glad your holiday went well, Vickie. Good for you!

      Reply
  2. Val

    “Gratitude – I’m grateful for the opportunity to outrun a heavy heart. Or at the very least, make myself too tired to care”

    Ditto, Ellen – but I’m also grateful that last week I screwed my courage to the sticking place & gave hot yoga a try! (I was apprehensive after my humiliating experience at other studio – to the point that I haven’t returned since Sept) – it was great, even though I sucked at all balancing postures as usual, I kept up pretty well throughout the entire 75-min class & instructor complimented me on my flexibility!

    Reply
    1. Ellen Post author

      GOOD for you, Val :) That was a huge step, I’m sure!! Any instructor will tell you that balance takes time and patience. I practice while brushing my teeth! And the class was 75 minutes? WOW. Mine is only an hour, so you ROCK! ;)

      Reply
  3. Roxie

    Ellen, I am so sorry that your Christmas went south. I love what was said about taking a year or so off, just to break the cycle. I did that and coming back and re-connecting with the fam-o-lee while protecting myself was possible.

    Reply
  4. teresa

    that’s partly why we have our own Christmas now. I love my family, but it’s so nice to be out of the tension.
    Can’t wait to read about the challenge on friday!

    Reply
  5. Kyra

    I’m sorry for whatever happened this year. I think you are spot on with taking your holidays back! Holidays are about enjoying the season, not sacrificing yourself for someone else’s demands. *hugs*

    Reply
  6. NewMe

    Sorry to hear about the stress. You’ve written about some of your family’s problems before. I’m sad to hear that things remain so difficult. Yes, get away! Sacrificing your mental health when you know it won’t make a difference is just not worth it.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming challenge. Your challenges are the only ones I will even consider participating in.

    Happy New Year, Ellen, and best wishes for a great 2013!

    Reply
  7. Hanlie

    I’m sorry you had an unpleasant Christmas. I removed myself this year and it was a great decision – I had a very relaxing, low key Christmas.

    I will be using an antique Chinese bucket for my gratitude container. It was the first gift Craig ever gave me.

    Reply
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