THOUGHTS FOR DECEMBER: Make it a month of Gratitude and Gratefulness
By Sue Crum
With December upon us and all the hype of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now Cyber Week, please take a moment to pause and reflect.
Some large chains couldn’t wait to open their doors on Black Friday, so they began at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Night! Those employees did not get a holiday from work, a chance to be with family and friends and reflect on the blessings of the year. They had to be at work, or suffer the consequence of perhaps losing their job.
After a Thursday of gratitude and kindness toward one another, people waited outside of stores for hours in anticipation of getting the best deal, the most deals, the perfect deals. In at least one large store two men got into a fistfight over who got to an item first. So much for kindness and thankfulness.
With the leftovers behind us we now turn to December holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza the end of the year can be a frenzy of frantic behavior. I’m suggesting we all slow down a bit, catch our breath, and put our holiday shopping on pause.
In my work as a professional organizer and clutter clearing coach I have an opportunity to help people create space in their homes so they can enjoy them more. What I often find is in their quest for happiness, retail therapy has kicked in;
I’m not so happy right now – I know if I buy_______________(fill in the blank) that will make me feel better.
By the time they call me they are overwhelmed, exhausted, or just plain miserable because of the upkeep of all the clothes, toys, and things they’ve accumulated.
It’s like their houses are filling up and sucking life out of them. Over a period of work sessions my clients come to realize that more does not make it merry, in fact, just the opposite. They are surprised and upset that they have filled their homes with so much stuff. Together we work up an action plan and a vision of how they want to live with more calm, enjoyment, and breathing space.
So before we all rush out to the mall or jump onto the internet for the latest and greatest gifts, let’s take a look at what anthropologists found out observing 32 families from California, in their book, Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century:
- The average home contained 438 books and magazines and 139 toys.
- In the United States we are purchasing 40% of the world’s toys, yet we have 3.1% of the world’s children.
- Having to manage the volume of possessions seemed to increase the stress hormones of the mothers, but the fathers didn’t really pay much attention to the clutter.
Here are some gift suggestions to consider, instead of more stuff:
- Gifts of time, gifts of activities,
- Handmade gifts from the heart, and
- Gifts in someone’s name to a charity of your choice.
When we reflect back over holidays of the past, often what we remember is the experience of the holiday-who was there, what we did, and how we felt. Those are the memories that put a smile on our faces and take us back to a simpler time.
Sue Crum, Ed.D., is a professional organizer and decluttering expert who consults in person or virtually, helping busy people organize, redesign and transform the way they live and work. She owns the R.E.D. team, and is the immediate past-president of the National Association of Professional Organizers – San Diego Chapter. As a motivational speaker Sue inspires others to clear out their chaos and clutter so they can lead more successful lives. Call TODAY and schedule your free in-home consultation.The life you deserve is waiting for you. 760.803.2786
Read more about Sue Crum at www.theredteam.com