Rather, it has been a month that started off with two weeks of the flu for my girl, bronchitis for my hubby and me living in paranoia that any moment I would succumb to either or both.
Thankfully, I have stayed well after dosing myself liberally with Airborne and vitamins.
Now that everyone is well, I am catching up on life and starting fresh on the year.
I'm actually finishing up the Christmas "undecorating" process as I write this!
(I can't undecorate in a house of sickies!)
During the two weeks of my loved ones' sickness, I was just worthless.
I was paranoid and slept on the couch while the sickies were quarantined to the upstairs.
I was not productive (let's call it paranoia paralyzation) and I basically just waited it out on the couch.
While that led to what now is a very messy house, I also had time for some deep thinking.
I got to thinking about how I'm at a place in life now where I've finally learned to manage my stress.
The least little thing used to throw me into a tailspin. I'm very bad about waiting until the last minute and then having to deal with a looming deadline. Every time that happened (at least once a month), I'd feel panicky and slightly flip out.
Finally, somewhere in 2012 perhaps, I developed an attitude of "it will all work out somehow - it always does."
It's something I tell myself - sometimes I say it out loud - and it has really changed the way I think.
Now I'm probably not the zen master of calm I'm painting a picture of but when I feel the stress rising, I reason with myself...
100 cards need to be designed, prepped and kitted by tomorrow night? My response: "Don't stress...it will all work out somehow, it always does."
500 toys need to be purchased for 100 children and I have to figure out their ages and gender and a budget per child and my brain is fried because my sister's in the hospital? (That actually happened to me this Christmas during the annual toy giveaway I organize for my church.) My response: "It will all work out somehow, it always does." (Plus a verse and one chorus of "Jesus Take the Wheel".)
Company's coming in the morning and I still have three bathrooms to clean, food to cook, clothes to wash and find an outfit to wear? My response: "It will all work out somehow, it always does."
As strange as it might seem - telling myself that works! I just go over all the times I've come through for myself at the last minute! Not once did a class time come and I wasn't ready with the kits. No big work project has gone undone. Everything usually goes off without a hitch, even big events. Toys are given away. People laugh. Everyone leaves happy. It all works out somehow. It usually means I work hard, stay up half the night but it always involves getting the job done.
So no need to stress. This is just regular life. This is me waiting until the last minute, I brought it upon myself so now I must make it work regular life.
Life throws you curve balls sometimes but if you believe in yourself and if you're like me and believe someone upstairs is directing every part of your life, then trust me - it will all work out somehow...it always does. Nothing is made better by falling apart. The flu passes. Deadlines come and go. The house will be clean again. Dishes will be done. Laundry folded and put away. Nothing to flip out about.
So here's to less stress in 2014. You with me?