Surviving the Holiday Rush

This Christmas season shot right past me, I feel like. I survived my internship at Charleston|Orwig in one piece, and made the long-enough-to-be-too-long trip home on the evening of the 22nd. This is real life, though. Someday, I could end up somewhere where the commute home for the holidays is much longer. I could end up in a situation where being home for the holidays isn’t even an option. That’s life. And that’s where I’m at…smack dab in the middle of life.

The holidays give a lot of chances to review how fortunate we are. Granted, I spent a lot of time wallowing in the woe-is-me-first-Christmas-without-Farmboy blues, but I also had a lot of glimpses of what real joy is. The time flew, it really was a fast-paced Christmas season. Despite all that, though, it was somewhat easy to enjoy.

I survived the rush. I survived my first Christmas as a single woman in my true adult life, and it wasn’t that bad. I ate way too much, spent time with family I don’t get to see often, and have made the most of the spirit in the best ways I could.

So, here are my intern-slash-college-student-slash-transitionary-life-stage tips on surviving the holiday rush.

  • Appreciate each moment — even when you aren’t feeling very appreciative, the little moments matter.
  • Breathe — it can be overwhelming. Remember that being home for the holidays is meant to be a time to slow down, so get an idea of how to slow it down to your pace.
  • Be understanding — the holidays are stressful for everyone else, not just you.
  • Have a safe haven — when it gets to be too much, have a place to go to “shut off” the “festivities” for a while.
  • Count your blessings — don’t ever forget this one. It can be a survival mechanism for those times when the holiday grouchiness and stress sets in!

Follow those quick tips next time around. In fact, they can apply to any busy-hectic-scary-fast time in life. Learning to slow things down is a big part of growing up, I feel. It’s a skill I’m still developing.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and best wishes as we look forward to 2011!


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