learning that it is okay to relax

For Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I packed up my Jetta to drive the 10 hours to my parent’s house in North Carolina. I was a bit anxious on our way down because this was only the second time I have been to their new house since they moved. My mom has done an excellent job making it feel like home, but it is still weird not driving to the home I grew up in for the holidays. I am still opening doors and finding out there is another closet that I had no clue that existed and I am completely lost in the kitchen because I don’t know where anything is!

My fears were immediately replaced with excitement when we got to the house because even though it is a new house and new furniture, it is the people that make it a home. Our family tradition is to start putting up Christmas trees after we eat pie on Thanksgiving. I had informed Jake that my family is really into Christmas, but I don’t think he was prepared for how many trees we put up each year! We spent the weekend watching Hallmark movies and decorating our house for Christmas and I loved every minute of it!

When we started to get our bags together to leave on Sunday morning, my mind went into overdrive and I started to make lists of all the things I didn’t get done while I was home. My parents still have boxes that need to be unpacked, we had the movers send some of my stuff to North Carolina that I still need to go through and I felt disappointed that I didn’t get to finish decorating the house for Christmas. A part of me also got sad because even though we were busy decorating most of the weekend, it was the first time in a while that I was actually relaxed in a long time. There wasn’t an alarm waking me up in the morning, I wore leggings and my Uggs all day and I didn’t have to be anywhere. At night, I sat on the couch with my family and Jake as we watched really bad Christmas Hallmark movies. I love being home, but I really loved how calm and relaxed I was while being there. 

While driving back to Philly, I started to get anxious and sad again. I didn’t realize how much I needed a few days to relax until I was forced to sit on a couch and watch movies for a whole weekend. Jake and I had a long talk about how I don’t just sit in front of the tv and relax because I am always filling up my free time with things to do. A part of me doesn’t know how to relax and it’s something I need to work on. I spend more making lists of things I should be doing instead of sitting on the couch and doing nothing after work. I’ve been tired for a while, but I continue to keep pushing, staying up late to clean my kitchen before bed or starting a project around the apartment instead of sitting on my couch catching up on tv shows. 

Jake suggested I start scheduling the time to be lazy and not do anything else. Something I have never been able to do in the past because I am always going from task to task. In the past, I always felt guilty for getting nothing done. Is it even possible for me to sit on a couch, curl up under a blanket and binge watch a show on Netflix without feeling guilty that there are dishes in my sink? The truth is that no one cares but me that there are dishes in my sink, a cup left on my coffee table or clothes on my bedroom floor but me. I put these pressures on myself and instead of being happy that my bedroom is clean, I stress that my kitchen is still messy instead.  I feel like I am slacking on the blog. My weekends are full of errands and grocery shopping instead of sleeping late because I am afraid of what will happen if I don’t get it done. The truth — nothing. My friends and I usually do a big breakfast on Sundays and rarely do I get to enjoy it because while I’m eating I just think of what I can do next. Finally, after months of running and a very busy schedule, I get to finally decide to be selfish and only put the energy into things that I really want to. 

During the holidays, I think we can all get overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done. There’s decorating, buying presents then wrapping them, making plans to see family and friends as well as everything else that has to get done. This year, I am scheduling a day to put up the tree and decorate the apartment as well as a day to sit on the couch to watch Christmas movies to have some balance. There is a lot that needs to get done this time of year so I am making time for myself in my schedule to enjoy the holiday.

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