Wednesday, December 16, 2015

'Tis the season to be stressed out...

Fa la la la la, la la la la....

This bitmoji pretty much sums it up.

I'm not a fan of the holidays. Well, let me clarify. I love the holidays--all the celebrations, the joy, the spirit of the season.

What I don't love is the prep for the holidays. All of you moms out there, you get it. The responsibility for holiday joy all falls on us. When I told my husband I wasn't going to send out Christmas cards this year, his response was, "you have to!"

Because why? And why can't he do it?

Sigh.

Guilt ensued and I searched through all my pictures from the past year. I found one, just one, that had both boys smiling from our March trip to Anna Maria Island. It was almost worth it, just to look at all the pictures from the past year. The picture I found was a little dark, so I doctored it up to make it look even better. Thankful for Snapseed, which I use to edit a lot of the photos you see on my Instagram feed.

Man, I love these boys.
Said Christmas cards arrived today. Guess what I should be doing instead of writing this blog post?

There's still gifts to buy.
Decorations to put up.
A menu to plan.
Cookies to bake.

Instead, what do I do? I go for a run. Today I put on these Christmas leggings that I originally bought for last weekend's Underground Polar Express run. It was too warm to wear them then. I got to run in them today. It was blustery and drizzly. But I ran with a smile on my face. Really, neon yellow shoes and holiday leggings?


During stressful times, the one thing that doesn't fall by the wayside is the run. If I can get out on the road, everything seems to fall into place.

Why is that? Does running make me more calm and ready to tackle all the tasks at hand?

I think so.

Wouldn't it be easier to just put my workouts aside and deal with all the stuff on my to do list?

Maybe. But I don't want to know.

It will get done.

For me, the holidays are hugely stressful. I'm not complaining. It is what it is. But if I've learned nothing else, I know that I need to put a run at the top of my to do list.  Everything else can wait.

And if throwing on a pair of holiday tights makes my inner scrooge go away, then it's all worth it.

Do you maintain your normal workout regimen during the holidays? How do you deal with all the stresss of the season? Do you send Christmas cards?

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word? Stressful. How about you? 

88 comments :

  1. Right now I do what I do… All year long :-) move as much as I can go to bed get up and try again the next day!

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    1. The key word here is try! Oooh, somedays it's tough....

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  2. I don't do holiday cards simply because I just hate the waste. And if I were you, I'm sure I would have told my husband if it's that important, do it yourself. Just like when my husband wanted to instruct me on how to brine the turkey, something neither one of us had ever done, I told him unless you want to do it, shut up.

    I can write this here, but I couldn't write that on my blog because he reads my blog!

    No, workouts get done. Sometimes shortened (but not the runs!), sometimes juggled around, but I feel better when I run and I'm a nicer person, too.

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    1. I could have said no to the cards but I know people like getting them, especially my mom's crowd. So I send them.

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  3. This Holiday Card is Beautiful!I love it!
    Wendy, I feel the same way. I'm putting running first, and everything falls into place. I think the calmness you feel after a run makes you less scattered and you become more focused and productive. Your running pants rock!

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    1. Thanks Ilka! Those pants made my legs smile! It was a great run.

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  4. I stopped sending Christmas cards a few years ago. We sent out about 150. Believe it or not, though it was expensive, that is not what prompted me to quit. What did? Time. There is never enough of that precious commodity. Something has to give; sending cards is what I chose. I still feel guilty when we receive beautiful greetings in the mail, but not guilty enough to resume.

    Decorations? Cut waaaayyyy back. Planning a menu is very stressful for me, but once it's done, the food shopping and the cooking are not.

    The most stressful of all is gift exchange. Back when we were kids (don't I sound like an old lady?) we received gifts only at Christmas and on our birthdays, perhaps a new outfit for Easter, so receiving and giving gifts, large or small, was a huge deal. Now? You want something, you get it. Trying to find something for folks who have everything they want and more than they need is an exercise in futility. We've cut back on this, too, and will even more next year.

    I run when I can. This time of year is difficult for me, but I do my best. I'll be happy when days are longer.

    Re: cards? I love yours.

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    1. The gift exchange is the hardest part for me, for all the reasons you cite above.

      You're right...there's never enough time.

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  5. That is a great card. I am NOT sending out Christmas cards this year, but I might send New Year's ones if I find some. My husband is really good about the holidays (except for the cooking part). He's shopped, wrapped and shipped packages and is sending out cards himself.

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    1. Your husband needs to give husband lessons. Mine doesn't lift a finger. But he gets upset when I mention cutting back.

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    2. I have to say that other than cooking and baking, my husband is a huge help. We pretty much split the duties equally or do them together.

      The first year I balked at writing cards, like your husband, Coco, he gladly took over the job. We've since just let it go.

      The problems is not just signing and addressing.

      Wendy, you will not be surprised to know that I end up writing notes and even letters to all those faraway folks I'd not seen in a while, (individual, hand-written notes/letters, not the famous Christmas letters sent en masse)making the task monstrous, time consuming, and much-to-be-dreaded. As my husband says often, I'm my own worst enemy.

      Last night I had a bunch of other stuff to do after we came home late from the last of our Christmas shopping. He wrapped, boxed, and prepared for shipping the gifts we are sending out this morning to our son who lives on the other side of the continent.

      If stressing burned calories, we'd all be in perfect shape. :/

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    3. I finally stopped with the personal notes in the cards. I can only do so much...

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  6. I don't get stressed out during the holidays, I just feel kind of meh about them. It is a lot of pomp and circumstance, and feigning interest in things that I don't necessarily want to feign interest in. But on the other hand, it is a great exercise for me in thinking about other people than just myself. I just wish that they weren't so expensive :D

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    1. Oh, I didn't even mention the expense. Add that to all the end of the year expenses...

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  7. Seriously why are husbands even more incapable of doing stuff this time of year?!! I do get stressed just trying to get it all done in time.

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    1. I don't understand how they can just sit back and watch us go...

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  8. That is a cute picture for your card. I stopped the Christmas cards probably 12-13 years ago! My hubs hangs not one ornament, nor one outside light, nada. His only job is to take the cherry picker thingy and hang a huge wreath on the 2nd story. My teens (one in particular) are the ones that help me get all the decorating done. Workouts are definitely happening -- and some glorious running too. EEK.

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    1. You're lucky that your teens pitch in! I don't even get that anymore...

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  9. That holiday card is awesome. I'm sorry you find the holidays so stressful. It does suck how the responsibility always falls on the women. But I think keeping active and getting out for a run and doing things for yourself is exactly how you manage it.

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  10. I suffer with anxiety and running is the best medicine that I've been able to find. Merry Christmas :-)

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  11. I feel yaa.... if i have too much to do I cave and just go for a run too. :-))) It's the best way to avoid real life!

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    1. I'd pretty much love to avoid responsibility at this point! LOL

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  12. My hubby doesn't care about the holidays so I have no help there. I use Snapseed too. I always make photo collage cards. I enjoy getting cards so I figure I should return the favor.

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    1. Same here. I'll be furiously addressing and stamping tonight after work...

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    2. did that last night but ran out of stamps grrrrh

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  13. Can you give info on those tights? They are awesome!!!

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    1. I bought them at Kohls. They have quite a few different styles!

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  14. I love your Christmas card! I do love Christmas (I named my cat Christmas) so usually the Christmas-y stuff that stresses people out is the stuff I ENJOY doing. I love wrapping presents. I love decorating. I get stressed for my students' Christmas concerts but that is over now! The one thing that does stress me out a bit is the card sending and every year I think, "I'm not doing it this year!" But then I end up doing it anyway.

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    1. I used to love Christmas but it's tough when no one is into it but me...my boys have outgrown the fun stuff. But I just keep doing it...

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  15. I didn't send out cards this year...sometimes SOMETHING just has to give. My stress is due to what will happen after the holidays this year, and the stress of what's to come in the next year+.

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    1. We're sure trying. He was gone last week to training, and again this week so he's sadly already partially 'gone.' :(

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  16. Your Christmas card is great! I stopped sending them out a couple of years ago and it's nice to not have that stress, time-suck, and expense. Most of the people on my list are on Facebook, so they pretty much know everything that I would have included in our card/letter, anyway.

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    1. Isn't that the truth? Most of my cards go to relatives and friends who aren't on FB.

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  17. Sometimes a great run is the best way to de-stress and get ourselves ready to do the rest!
    Love the Christmas card!!!

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    1. Today it was a yoga class. I try to do something every day...

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  18. I toally get what you are saying! I'm not a mom yet but I see how stressed out my mom gets over the holidays so I try to help out as much as possible since she wants everything perfect!

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    1. Funny, I'm not even going for perfect! Just satisfying would be ok!

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  19. Maintaining and/or training is so challenging during this time of year! I've been driving myself crazy lately with the Disney Marathon right around the corner, but you have to pick your battles. Your boys are so cute! Happy Christmas!

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    1. Oh, I did that a few years ago. It was hard to train for January race! Good luck!

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  20. I love the holidays and get almost defensive about keeping them stress-free and enjoyable. We haven't sent out Christmas cards yet...and may not even get to it. Traveling for the holidays (with a fussy puggle on a five hour flight) will be enough stress!

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    1. I wish they weren't so stressful for me!

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  21. Love the Christmas card!

    Jen@Jpabstfitness.com

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  22. My biggest holiday stress is the expectation that we should travel to be with family. We don't have kids, so surely we understand that everyone else wants to be home on Christmas morning! In 25 years we've hosted Christmas once, not that we haven't offered numerous times. Not sure where we'll be this year, my husband has traveled 22 weeks this year for work and staying home sounds really appealing to both of us.

    Decided against Christmas cards this year. My husband said a few weeks ago that we should, but he didn't volunteer to do any of the work so I made the executive decision not to.

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    1. That was my first mistake, agreeing to do the cards.

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  23. Running is still at the top of my list during the holiday season. I make an effort not to over do. My biggest struggle is keeping my eating in line and relatively in check.

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    1. That's a hard one. Right now I'm at work and there's a chocolate cake in the break room...

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  24. I used to make my own Christmas cards. That stopped once I started training for long distance triathlons, it just took up too much time. I haven't sent out Christmas cards in the last two years, ha ha. Oh well. If I could run right now, you know I'd be lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement. But alas, that's not happening. So I'm trying to find other ways to manage my stress. Like punching things with boxing gloves on hahaha. Love those tights btw! So fun!

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    1. Oh yes, boxing gloves would be nice right now! Instead I run in silly costumes...

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  25. Gift giving is always stressful for me. My husband's family always goes may overboard with the gifts and I never feel like my gifts are enough....I need to just get over it and not feel bad about it!

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    1. When my MIL was alive I could never hold up the gift standard. That's tough! She used to go overboard and my budget just doesn't allow for that.

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  26. I should be getting my holiday cards in the mail today. Then I need to address them. Have not bought a single gift yet (we do a simple Christmas celebration)...every year I decide I won't do a card, and then I receive my first card from someone else and feel sad that I didn't do one, and then I rush order mine... Run first and all else will fall into place.

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    1. I know everything will fall into place. It always does. It's just stressful getting there!

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  27. Christmas cards are definitely my department in our house too, but my husband will pitch in to help address them.

    Your card came out great!

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    1. I had that discussion with my husband today when he asked me to hang out at home to wait for his beer freezer delivery...maybe he could help me with some shopping? Um no.

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  28. I use to really put forth a lot and I mean a lot of effort to Christmas Cards. Yup we took pictures just for them. Now with a 14 year old step daughter who hates pictures, wait not true she'll take 100+ snap chat pictures every single day but can't smile or put on something decent for a photo to save her life,..... so no cards for us this year!

    You really did good on your cards! Amazing they are both smiling!!!

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    1. My oldest didn't smile in any other pictures this year, not even his senior pictures. I can't quite believe we had that one.

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  29. I sent a gift card to my parents - that's it. But today I received a card from a friend in Toronto. It was a pleasant surprise! I try to add in an extra workout because the season (coupled with work deadlines) can be stressful. Even driving can be stressful! :)

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    1. Oh don't get me started on the driving! My drive to work takes me past a bunch of shopping centers, and the driving around there si SO bad...

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  30. I am with you! Why is it so stressful? Why do we have to do everything? ok rant over :) thanks for the venting

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  31. I LOVE sending xmas cards! But this year I've been behind. I haven't even started! Oops!

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    1. I love all this stuff but I wish I had more time to get it done...

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  32. I actually hit the wall earlier this week cuz SO much ok everything holiday, is put on my shoulders here. "Could you just pick up this and that for so and so? Send this? Order that? Oh and the dog shit all over the basement" because I'm the only one who can clean that. I think we've more than earned our holiday tights and runs!

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    1. The struggle is real for all of us. Wouldn't it be great to sit back and watch our hubbies do all the holiday prep work? Can you even imagine?

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  33. I completely agree!! It's so important to get back out there and run.

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    1. Anything to make the stress level go down!

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  34. It's all about finding the balance between what you enjoy and what you have to do. I definitely support the holiday leggings! Enjoy the runs!

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  35. That about sums up my life: Important things to do, but instead, what do I do? I go for a run!

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    1. I did exactly that this morning. Plus went and worked with my coach. THEN I went Christmas shopping.

      Priorities.

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  36. OMG, those tights and those shoes! To die for!

    And I am SO with you on the stresses of the holiday preparations and creative ways to procrastinate, LOL. Is it sad that I'm already looking forward to the week between Christmas and New Year's just so I can decompress a bit???

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    1. I was just thinking about that today! I can't wait!

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  37. Um, those pants are amazing. My family decided this year to draw names and do a secret santa type thing. We set a $50 price range and now we each only have to buy 1 gift. We also decided to get together at a fancy restaurant for dinner on Christmas Eve rather than meeting at someone's house. We are all adults with no small children so I guess that's why this kind of arrangement worked out. I'm honestly looking forward to it and it has eliminated a lot of stress!! I hope you can make it through the next week... I think a nice long run is the most appropriate way to deal with stress :)

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    1. We've talked about the name drawing gift exchange but I have one sister who is a little wacky and you wouldn't want her to pull your name! God know what you'd get...

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  38. I love your new tights! I definitely keep up with my workouts during the holidays the best I can. I love getting outside and away from it all, even if just for an hour.

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Running is the best thing this time of year.

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  39. I'm sorry you're stressed Wendy. Been there done that. I'm happy to say we're enjoying year 3 of stress free holidays. In fact, I mentioned it in my post today. Love the tights!

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  40. I gave up holiday cards years ago! It is to much to coordinate with 4 kids, 2 ex-wives and their schedules (who cares), 1 ex-husband (definitely don't care), church, who eats what, etc. I just buy more wine and sit on the couch! Something had to go and it was the holiday cards. You picked a nice one :) cute boys. Ho Ho Ho off to work we go Wendy!

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    1. Yep, divorce certainly complicates things! LOL!

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  41. Your card is great!! I resumed a more normal schedule this week and I feel 10x's better :)

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    1. I'm looking forward to the week after the holidays!

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