Lately, I’ve been seeing social media posts about how many weeks there are until Christmas. Yes – you read that right…CHRISTMAS! Many retail stores are putting Christmas items out already – already. Did I miss a memo or something? It’s still August, right?
It’s CRAZY out there, folks! And, for this procrastinator, my heart is starting to palpitate just thinking about Christmas, even at 20 weeks away. I mean, I’m just trying to focus on school supply shopping right now. I can’t even begin to think about Christmas. I’m actually quite proud of myself – I only have 5 more items left to get, and school doesn’t start for 4 more days!
And just as I was basking in the pride of actually being ready for my kids to start school, I read about a family who has been ready for months with all the right school supplies and all the right dress code appropriate attire for all 8 of their children and the perfect little Pinterest gifts for all their teachers and of course the principal, assistant principal, front desk staff, janitors, cafeteria workers, and the counselor. (Whew!)
And no doubt, those same parents will bake cookies for the whole class on the first day with some little frosting message that rhymes and will become their class motto for the whole year. And then, the principal will like it so much that it becomes the theme for the whole school, and an end of the year celebration honoring the BEST parents in the school who came up with the greatest motto will be attended by the entire community. And yep, I’ll probably even go too – hanging my head in shame of course!
So, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration. But, that’s how we tend to process these things. When we feel like we’re falling short comparing ourselves to others or to certain standards, our emotions affect our intellect, which in turn affects our reality, which then causes us to exaggerate. We not only exaggerate how “great” we think others are, but we also exaggerate how “terrible” we think we are. That causes us to feel a sense of failure, which is definitely not a good or even a real thing.
The same goes for relocating. There are timelines, checklists, and a plethora of things to do and remember. Have you ever sat on the couch in your living room with an impending move hanging over your head and thought, “Why haven’t I started packing yet?” Or, have you ever moved into a home and tripped over the same box time and time again and thought to yourself each time, “Why haven’t I unpacked that box yet?” Do either of these negative questions actually get the packing or unpacking done? Or, does it just make you feel badly about yourself? I’m guessing the latter of the two.
Here’s my point: Simply put – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! There’s no contest to win here. No one will die if you’re finishing your packing the night before the truck gets there. And, if boxes remain unpacked for more than what your friends and family deem appropriate standard time, nothing bad will happen to you as a result. And, say you make a batch of cookies for the movers. They won’t care that they were bought at the local Piggly Wiggly (southern reference) and not in the shape of cute little trucks with an incredibly witty saying on them showing your undying appreciation for all their efforts.
Whenever you don’t quite hit that packing goal you made for yourself, or you have unpacked boxes lying around the house months after you move in, or whatever standard it is you feel like you don’t live up to…just remember that negative thoughts about yourself or your circumstances exaggerate your reality. And, you know what? It’s probably not as bad as you think it is. So, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK…even, if you’re hitting up Toys R Us on Christmas Eve!