'Tis the Season to be JollyWritten by Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
'Tis season to be jolly, unless of course you have far too much to do. It isn't like we can ditch all of our other duties just to deck halls. Holiday chores are simply piled onto our already too hectic schedules. Sure, Martha makes it look easy as she makes homemade, hand-carved reindeer but don't forget that Martha has an entire staff to help her don her gay apparel.
The best way to guarantee that you will be singing fa la la la la during holidays is to make a plan and stick with it. The first measure is to decide on a budget. If you are one of those super-organized, saving type of people, now is time to go and pick up Christmas club money from bank that you have been making deposits into all year. If you are like rest of us, decide how much you can take out of what you already have. If you are going to use credit cards, then make a deal with yourself only to charge so much. Remember that come January you will have to start paying them back. Do you really want to have holidays haunt you all year long?
Not everything has to be homemade to create a wonderful heartfelt holiday. Decide what you will make and what you will buy. Homemade Christmas cards are wonderful, but if you didn't begin making them back in June, forget it. Buying them will be just fine. If you want to include a family picture with card, don't forget you will need to get picture in to photo developers far enough in advance to have it reproduced. There have been holidays past when my holiday cards became New Year's cards because I didn't have my pictures done in time. In addition, forget about writing a personal note in each one of them. Nice, but again unless you started this months ago, you will not have time. Although I know many people disdain form-type holiday letter, it is better than hearing from someone once a year and all that is in card is Love Dan and Donna. At least letter gives you a clue as to what is going on and helps you keep up with your once-a-year friends.
Although Martha will be baking a delectable array of international holiday treats, holidays will be just as sweet with just a few of your favorites. Decide which two to three types of cookies and candies you will make, schedule a day to bake, box or freeze cookies, and call it done. You might also want to consider doing a cookie exchange with some friends. Each person bakes several dozen of their favorite cookies and then exchanges what they make with several friends. This way everyone gets an array of cookies but only has to bake one kind. This is a wonderful way to keep things simple while enjoying wonderful treats and time with friends.
Keep in mind that although you are capable of doing a lot, you do not have to do it all by yourself. This is time to get entire family involved. Ask for help with everything from trimming tree, baking cookies, to wrapping gifts. Instead of being in charge of making entire holiday dinner, have everyone contribute his or her favorite dish. The holidays are about enjoying time with family and friends and not about being stressed out and exhausted.
This year plan to have a jolly holiday season by planning and being realistic about what you can do.
Top Ten Ways to Avoid Being Less than Jolly During Holiday Season
Lose your career and find a new life!Written by Cathy Goodwin, MBA, PhD
I hear from many people who feel trapped in a career after fifteen or twenty happy, productive years. It's been a good ride, they say, but now it's time to jump off train. They want to fulfill a creative dream, recover from burnout or just try something new. The old challenge is now a "been there, done that."
If you can relate to that description, you probably recognize that midlife career change is both easier and harder than starting out in world of work. Change is easier because you have resources to grease rails. You have savings, equity in your house, and a retirement fund. More important, you have acquired skills, contacts and networks. You may be able to use resources of your current employer to develop new skills.
On other hand, change is hard because you have invested in your career identity. In my relocation book, Making Big Move (New Harbinger 1999), I emphasize that moving is stressful because identity is interrupted. The change is equally stressful when you relocate your career.
Often people focus on skills and activities they want to incorporate into their new careers, but ignore impact on identity. Yet I have seen people falter and give up on new careers because they were uncomfortable with new way they had to define themselves. Just saying, "I amů" creates a new reality.
At same time, once you begin to acquire a new identity, you increase your risk. It will be more difficult to return to a former career or job once you have begun to enjoy a new identity. And your former colleagues will see you differently.