One of my earliest memories of Christmas is looking over the back of an armchair, watching giant snowflakes fall through the glow of the street lamp. We had just come back from Christmas (Eve) dinner, where we dined on Grandma’s fine china. I was supposed to be going to bed, but everything was so still, so peaceful. I still love how quiet it gets when it’s snowing.
When I was a kid, it wasn’t hard to find quiet time by myself, but I didn’t appreciate how important it was, nor did I really know what to do with it.
With so much we need to do, we feel that we can’t take time to slow down and enjoy the scenery, let alone stop and rest. But the happiest, most successful people in life are those who have learned to preserve time for renewal in the midst of the hustle and bustle.
- Take a few minutes each day to ponder and reflect. Plan for the day. Reflect on how you did yesterday. This will help you not only make good progress, but in the right direction. Build it in to your routine, at the start or end of your day.
- Take a day or two each week to rest. Studies have consistently shown that if you take one or two days off each week to rest, you get more done in five or six days than if you try to work all seven days every week. Spend the day resting, relaxing, and having fun. Worship and serve. When you go back to work, your saw will be sharp.
- Take a week or two each year to reconnect. Once or twice a year, take a longer actual vacation (or staycation) where you spend time thinking about who you want to be and the direction you want to head in the next year. Set goals, update your mission statement, or make a plan so the inspiration you’ve felt will last once you’ve gone home and returned to busy.
Christmas is a great time to reconnect with your vision of who you want to be—you’re surrounded by friends and family—but it can be a particularly hard time to find peace and quiet. We rush around in travel and preparation, often at the expense of the very holiday spirit we’re trying to cultivate and celebrate.
Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect. Let it be good enough. Simplify. Eat off of paper plates. Would you rather spend time playing games and creating memories or making the fine china look like you never used it?