Every year, most of us get asked, “What do you want for Christmas (or Hanukkah)?” This is to insure that the gift is appreciated and not reviled, like a fruitcake would probably be by most recipients. It’s also to save the giver time and energy trying to figure out what you’d like. That’s why Amazon and other sites let people create wishlists.
But sometimes the annual question can be a challenge to answer. Especially this year, when we keep reading about layoffs, foreclosures and how many people can’t even afford to put food on the table. Saying, “I’d like some fleece pajamas,” when I already have several pair or, “How about a sweater,” when I have a shelf full, seems greedy. I am fortunate not to need stuff, yet I still enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Who doesn’t like the anticipation of holding a wrapped package someone chose for you? Tearing off the paper (or carefully pulling off tape so you can reuse and be green)?
However, most of the things I truly want can’t be bought. The main thing I want right now is to stop worrying. To not wake up in the middle of the night ruminating about the economy and when and if it will improve. Wondering what impact the downturn will have on my condo, my voiceover business, whether or not I’ll sell a book(s). I try to turn off those nagging thoughts and go back to sleep, but it seems that once I get started down the worry path, my concerns feed upon themselves.
I keep reading about living mindfully, which means focusing on what you are doing in this moment…noticing details about each action you take, the sounds you hear, and things you touch. Doing this is supposed to not only help reduce stress but make you healthier.
That is the gift I am going to give myself this year. I’m going to devote time and energy to this pursuit, and hope I can incorporate some strategies and revel in the benefits.
Here are just a few sites on the topic:
What are you giving yourself?