January 4, 2024

Turning It Off Over the Holidays

Well it is officially 2024, the holiday season is behind us, and for most folks it is time to get back to the grind. The kids are back in school, emails are pouring in, and 2023 is a thing of the past. Did you take any time off from work? Were you able to unwind at all? Did you have any mental reprieve from all of the responsibilities of the job and customers? Do you have an on off switch or do you rely on distractions to occupy your mind?

I most certainly cannot speak for all of you, but I can speak for myself. As most of you know, I had a busy second half of the year leading right into the holidays. I worked into the week before Christmas, and then I took off until after the New Year. As a matter of fact, until today! I think that I was pretty exhausted and stressed out wrapping up my project, because the time off was especially enjoyable this year. Well, most of the time off felt that way. 

We really did not do too much over break. Christmas Eve at our house, Christmas day at my dad’s, and then we spent roughly five days at Rachel’s parents house in upstate New York. Rachel and I even had an overnight alone at a cool resort called Innes in Accord, New York. We spent time with family, spent time with friends, rested, and relaxed. We ended up coming back home the day before New Year’s Eve in order to get a jump start on life. The girls started school today (the second), which seemed a bit early, so we wanted to get back home, unpack Christmas, spend New Year’s with friends, and settle in before starting 2024. 

I did a great job of unwinding and disconnecting until we got back home. Part of my reasoning for getting back a little early is because typically I do not do well with an abundance of idle time. I felt great up at her parents, my anxiety levels were low, and I wanted to ensure I did not sit around too long and get the mental wheels turning. Well, my plan backfired completely. I am not sure what happened, but as soon as I got back home I felt stressed, anxious, and uneasy. Generally speaking, being home around the holidays is good for me, because I have stress management outlets at my disposal. I have things to do around the house, I can ride my dirtbike, I can hang with friends, and we can keep busy as a family. I truly thought that it was the right move coming home early from New York, but I was very very wrong.

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Once I got back home the wheels started spinning. I started to think about the podcast for 2024, about how I needed to let my clients know when I would be back up and running, about year end taxes, invoicing, scheduling, finances, our new property, and on and on and on. It was brutal to say the least. Generally speaking when I begin to feel this way, it is mental as well as physical. The last few days I have felt as though I was hit by a truck. I have been exhausted and weak, but I also cannot sleep. It is quite enjoyable, ha ha. I think that l began last year with a strong mindset of controlling what I could control, and understanding that the rest would happen the way it was supposed to happen. If customers were not overly thrilled, if I was not completely on schedule, if finances were not just right, I accepted it as so, and did not dwell on it to the point of paralysis. The last six months leading into the holidays were so stressful and so intense that all of my good habits and practices of early 2023 went right out the window. 

I am not saying that you can walk around with an “I don’t give a shit” attitude each and every day, but at some point you have to be okay with doing your best. You have to learn that you cannot make everything perfect every day. You must understand that your life does not depend on pleasing the world, remaining on schedule, and work in general. There are more important things like health, family, friends, and general well-being. For 2024, I am going to start my focus here. Be a little less serious, and enjoy the idle times. I am going to do my best to understand and appreciate my flaws and weaknesses, and rather than beat myself up for not being perfect, accept things the way they are at times. I will continue to work hard, do my best, do right by my customers, and carry myself with integrity, but I will not hang my head when I make a mistake or cannot fulfill my word every second of every day. No one is perfect, and chasing that standard is exhausting. 

I hope that each and every one of you had a fantastic holiday break. I hope that your 2024 is filled with peace, happiness, and success. I hope that all of you appreciate the ups and downs that life has to offer. Most importantly I hope that you all realize that we are not perfect, you cannot control every aspect of your life, and that your best is more than enough. Happy New Year, and here’s to a prosperous 2024!

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