Here we are again. I (Cathy) swear yesterday was the back-to-school sale at Target, and now I’m watching the last bits November slide by. Next stop: 2023. The next 40 days, give or take, are nothing but a high-speed rollercoaster of chaos.
So today, the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I’m giving myself permission to check out and take a breath. I wrote my very own permission slip (yes, that is a thing!) and here’s what I am NOT doing today:
1. Wearing real pants. I always enjoy my Thanksgiving meal to the fullest. From my great-greadmother’s stuffing recipe to my homemeade pumpkin pie with extra (extra) whipped cream. A zero-guilt-lick-the-plate kind of meal. I love sitting around the table with my loved ones, seeing their faces, listening to their stories, and savoring the time together just as much as the food. My real pants feel a little snug today, but breaking bread with my people is the absolute best. My pants can take a back seat to my comfy leggings.
2. Cooking. It takes a lot of work to create that “lick-the-plate” meal I just referenced. This year I’m cooking for 10, which for me—who would rather be anywhere other than the kitchen—leaves me exhausted and sick of looking at the oven and our dishes. Today my family can eat leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with their bare hands for all I care. I will not be lifting one finger in the kitchen.
3. Shopping in person. Don’t get me wrong, I looooove a good sale and I’m one of those weirdos who actually enjoys shopping. But fighting crowds of people in real stores for Black Friday? It’s a no from me. However, I have no problem scrolling through the internet and clicking “add to cart” on the goodies that are a great price, and today it’s all happening on my couch.
4. Skipping my workout. At some point today I will make sure I get fresh air, sweat a little, and do my favorite stretches. It doesn’t have to be at 5am (trust me, it won’t!) and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. But I know a few miles outside and keeping up with my stretch routine helps center my brain and gives me an escape from the chaos. Not to mention my family has hinted that I’m nicer when I’ve had time to exercise.
5. Thinking about tomorrow. My family celebrates Christmas, and it will be here before we know it. But it’s not here today, and I don’t need to stress or worry or overthink it in the next 12 hours. We will probably break out the decorations later this weekend, and I’ll send my older kids back to their respective locations with chocolate Advent calendars and Santa socks, but for today I am choosing to be 100% present in this moment of rest and gratitude.
What are you giving yourself permission to do today?