Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday ?!?! Are you sure ?

How did it get to be Thursday already? What happened to Wednesday? I know I was around for Wednesday. I accomplished some of those things on Wednesday's "To Do" list. I DIDN'T get my Working the Shows Wednesday post up, though. So sorry. (I promise to run that story next Wednesday.)

To be honest, after a busy day of painting in the early morning, shopping with a friend most of the day, rushing home and preparing a meal for dinner guests, spending time with those guests before and after the meal, then, taking care of a little business - I made the mistake of sitting down for a second. It only took that long to fall asleep in the chair! When The Big Guy woke me up around midnight, I did the "zombie walk", literally bouncing off walls on my way to the bedroom where I quickly fell back into a deep sleep.

As most of you know, exhaustion is pretty much inherent in the pre-holiday rush. Those of us attempting to run a business, especially one whose business is centered on the season, run at a sleep deficit for weeks at a time. The older I get, the harder it is to maintain that kind of schedule. In the old days, I could go two days without hitting the sack when necessary and then rebound after just one 6-7 hour sleep session. Oh, to be young again!

It is important at this point, to PRIORITIZE. While we have orders to complete, gifts to buy, homes to maintain, family to take care of, etc., we also need to take care of ourselves. Sure, we can all handle a short night here and there but we need to realize we can't do it over and over without end. As we get tired, we take longer to create our product and make more mistakes in the process. Ultimately, we gain nothing in the process. A tired person is also more susceptible to whatever germs are floating around and with the flu season in full swing, you really don't want to let your guard down. A sick person accomplishes very little quality work and stays sick longer if they are forcing themselves to keep going at an unreasonable pace.

The secret to keeping it all together? SIMPLIFY where you can. You can make the daily meal times a lot simpler with a little planning and preparation. I'm a great believer in making planned leftovers. Basically, I cook at least double amounts where possible. This can usually be accomplished in the same amount of time but makes two dinners instead of one. Once cooked, freeze one of those meals. When you want to use it, simply thaw it out and pop it in the oven or microwave. This not only saves prep time but also clean-up time. I actually do this year-round, not just at the busy times. I also take an entire day every few weeks and stock pile food like stuffed shells, enchiladas, jambalaya, pulled pork, etc. These all freeze well and can be cooked up with very little effort. The wasted day really does pay off.

ACCEPT HELP. We all know we usually can't farm out our craft but we can allow our family members to assist with other need like KP duty in the kitchen, laundry, running to the grocery, even making the Post Office runs. If they offer to cook or clean, let them do it. Maybe they won't do it just the way you do, but it will most likely be perfectly acceptable. Most of all, don't criticize the help! Quietly accept however it comes out and be sure to say "Thanks."

We each have to determine where we can accept a little less perfection in our everyday life and what events we must take part in, whether it is attending the children's school pageant, having dinner with friends or even having house guests during the made pre-holiday days.

Just remember, you really can't do it all, something has to give. Don't let destiny determine what gives. Let it be your choice and plan to let somethings fall by the wayside. That way, the really important parts do happen and they happen in the way you want them to. You'll be in control of what really matters.

So, go ahead and turn in and get some creativity rest. (I've given up on the concept of beauty rest!)

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