One of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life so far is that a vast majority of the things that stress you out are avoidable. Most of the time, what stresses us is caused by no one other than your own self. I can’t think of a better time that displays this lesson than Christmas. The amount of people I see scrambling around the stores sweating, hyperventilating and, when I’m lucky, crying is incredible. Had these people just planned better, they could be taking it as easy as I am and actually enjoying the season. I have most of my gifts bought by October. I buy Christmas decorations in January when they are all on sale. Most importantly, I have my Christmas cards planned out by early November. If I didn’t have to put a photo on my cards, I would have them bought before my vacation in July. Buying my Christmas cards early has gotten rid of so much stress and left me with a little more cash in my pocket. When Christmas actually rolls around, I am calm as a cucumber.
Imagine my dismay when during my first Christmas season at my new job. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was December 14th…a cold, sunny day. I am going about my business, doing my work like any other day when my boss nonchalantly walks over to me and asks me to send out our business Christmas cards. Assuming they had been written out, addressed, and stamped, I asked him where they were. He said they weren’t ordered yet and that was my job. I almost fainted. My heart rate went up, palms got sweaty and I am pretty sure a thunderstorm formed inside of our office. It was a year’s worth of stress packaged up into one moment. While I was able to order and send out the cards in time, my enjoyment for that holiday season was crushed. Until I confirmed that people got their cards before the 25th, I was a mess. I made sure we ordered our business Christmas cards very, very early the next year. It did go to serve as another example, though, of how much stress we create for ourselves.