The Crazy Times

December is busy for many people, but for me it is crazy. Not only is it the holidays, but the quarter is ending up so there is lots of grading and one of my girls has a birthday. So the question becomes: How can I maintain my usual effervescence and calm when faced with so many obligations?

Luckily, I have created a system for maintaining zen-like balance in crazy times. Here's all you need to do:

Margaret's Tips for Maintaining Zen-like Balance in Crazy Times

1. Breathe. Take a moment to absorb where you are and be truly present through each inhale and exhale.
2. Take care of yourself: Exercise. Eat well. Get plenty of sleep.
3. Gift yourself first. When a plane loses altitude, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, your child or companion second, and so it is with gifting. Endless giving unto others will leave you bitter. Gift yourself first. I recommend jewelry, but that's just me.
4. If you feel really bad buying your own jewelry, you should buy it and then tell someone you love to give it to you. Wrapping it first will make sure your gift-recieving experience meets your high standards.
5. "The thought counts" is a noble sentiment. But a nobler sentiment is good-quality jewelry. That will require money, but you don't need to go into debt. Semi-precious gems will do. Also, pearls are always nice.
6. Massages are also good because they are a physical reminder to yourself that you are a tender and precious flower who needs adequate soil and sunlight to bloom. And isn't it true that you deserve a freaking chance to bloom? Everybody else always gets to bloom, bloom, bloom. But just when you think you have one little moment to bloom everyone is all, "Do this for me." "Take me to this place." "I'm a precious flower and you totally embarrass me when you insist on speaking to the saleslady. Stop! Stop! You're doing that thing where you breathe
7. Let go of petty annoyances. Traffic, family squabbles, annoying coworkers can all seem especially difficult during this time of year, but the zen-like woman knows to let go of the things she cannot control. You cannot control the water, so why curse its flow? Although, frankly, if you could control the water, I think it would be fair to ask why it had to flood your backyard or why the goddamn gardeners didn't have the tool to turn the tricking water off when they knew they were going to your house to fix the goddamn broken sprinklers, and wouldn't you think if someone were fixing the goddamn sprinklers if would occur to them that they might have to deal with problems involving actual water.
8. Cultivate gratitude. For example, cultivate gratitude that the water that turned your backyard into a freaking marsh did not actually also flood your house, even though you had to have all the water turned off and couldn't shower or even wash your hands or even flush the goddamn toilet unless you filled the tank of said toilet with your emergency supply water.
9. Although, really, it was good you had that emergency water, which no one appreciated when you bought it, by the way. But now they know you were thinking proactively, so Ha! Also, it takes a lot of water to fill up those tanks so, you know, be forewarned.
10. Embrace impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. Consequently, you will need to repeat steps one through nine often, and, in case, of emergency, drink wine.


Daisy said...

drinking wine, but might need something stronger!! ;-D

Addey said...

LOL I was going to say something about wine, but Daisy beat me to it. Very sage advice. It also boils down to "if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".

Petrea Burchard said...

I want to emulate you. I must let go, let go! Make myself happy! I'm here on this planet to be happy!

Cathy Perlmutter said...

Jewelry and deep breathing. You've uncovered the secret to life. Merci.
I had no idea about the marsh. We have an old sump pump if you need to borrow it.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Is it wrong that I started laughing when I read you were hoping to maintain your "usual effervescence and calm?" :o) I loved this post, Margaret. Good luck getting through December. Here's to wine! ~clink~

Cafe Pasadena said...

"Holidays"? Oh yeah, that's something we have every mth of the year!

(I can see you've been influenced by zen-mondays.)

Ms M said...

Priceless! And here's to a glass of wine....

Jean Spitzer said...

Thanks to you.

And happy holidays. Hope your plumbing problems are fixed.

Desiree said...

I'm all about the wine. Just got a link to an advent calendar that's a bottle a day.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Took your advise and bought myself a purse at Costco

altadenahiker said...

Given your final piece of advice, I guess it's always an emergency around here.

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Susan Campisi said...

Excellent advice! The next free hour I have I'm getting a massage. That should be sometime in February. Hope you're enjoying (surviving?) these crazy times.