Sunday, December 5, 2010

Overload & Obsession


The holidays are always crazy and stressful, but usually handle-able.

This year is different. I don't know exactly why, but I'm not handling the stress of home, church, work, travel, family celebrations very well. I'm maxed out and really feeling the burn.

At one point, this entire weekend was planned out to a T. Two things were canceled a few days ago and I just canceled one last thing on Friday. Hosting Tim's family here this afternoon was not going to work out under these conditions. We had some serious, extensive cleaning to do in order to be able to handle his family--and we're just talking about the ones who live here. There would have been 18 people in a house that was crammed to the brim due a basement that's still torn apart after this summer's bit of flooding, and an upstairs that had zero Christmas decorations in it so far {and of course with guests coming and it being December and all, I wasn't at all going to stand for that!}.

My Fibro and Costochondritis pain have been really flaring up. Not to the point of being unable to work, but getting close. I'm wondering if I'm getting sick too, which adds to the stress of course. The Costo pain freaks me out enough that it also stresses me out {it's chest cavity wall pain, so you know...not fun}.

I wish I didn't react this way to stress or that I was calm, cool, collected, and didn't buckle under pressure. But sadly, that's just not me. Sometimes I succeed with it, but December rarely means I don't buckled under the stress. I couldn't help but laugh the other day when a very sweet coworker told me she thought that my perfectionistic tendencies are an admirable trait. I greatly appreciate the sentiment, but since my OCD perfectionistic ways are what shove me into high stress alert, I think they're more of a curse. But I'm trying really hard to lighten up, step back, and assess reality instead of pummeling forward in my warped mentality.

I'm really thankful to work for such a great organization where the people truly are like family, and I know I don't need to be so stressed out. What gets done, gets done. What doesn't, it'll be okay. What can be shared will be shared. I can't work excessively and still stay sane. I realize that all, but it's easier said than done. I am a perfectionist. I can't seem to help myself. Last week was a big work week, and not just for me, but for so many of my coworkers too. I talked to a couple other people who were also stressed to the max. God has greatly blessed our company and we're all just really thankful for what we get to do every day. No one wants to complain, we're just trying to not wind up in the looney bin, that's all! ;)

Thinking through all of our plans over the course of the next month, I have to be careful not to freak out. We've been traveling a lot this Fall. We travel again in a couple weeks. We just got back. Ughhh. I love to travel, technically, and I love to visit loved ones, but I do sorta wish someone would invent a way to just snap our fingers or teleport and we'd be there.

That'd be a neat trick.

I love the holiday season, but every year it zooms by with me barely able to catch my breath! This year, I'm entering into it hoping to scale back and have a renewed focus on the important things in life.

On Thursday in our weekly chapel at work, we had a speaker that really gripped my heart and spoke right to where I was at. He talked to us about obsession. Especially this time of year, we obsess over everything, especially us females. We have to do this party, and go to that thing, and this function, and make food for this event, and buy all these gifts, and try to find things they'll like and use so we aren't wasting money, and so on... and we obsess over every detail of it.

We get so obsessed with making it all go smoothly, quickly, and efficiently, that we truly don't slow down to enjoy the moments. To soak in the extra time with family and friends. To enjoy the beauty of our lives instead of being critical that the ham didn't turn out perfectly, that the linens aren't quite smooth enough, or that the floor got a little dirty when a guest didn't take off their shoes.

We don't do it on purpose, but we rush around, obsessing, and not seeking the face of God first and foremost.

It's such a challenge during this holiday season, but let's be careful to slowwww downnnnnn. The stress just causes us to freak out all the more, and usually in completely unnecessary ways. My freak out moments are often followed by me feeling really ashamed because I'm usually the only one seeing it the way I'm seeing it. If I just relaxed and enjoyed it without obsessing, not only would I be happier and healthier, but God would be more glorified.

So instead of all the hustle and bustle... let's be in constant contemplation of the glory of Christ. Let's obsess solely and completely over our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Decide purposefully to be intentional about your Christmas and celebrating the birth of the Savior.

1 comment:

blueviolet said...

Removing things that are only causing stress was a good decision. I don't know why we overload ourselves during this season, because it takes away from our ability to even enjoy it.