OK, so the holidays are right around the corner, and you’re charging towards them like a freight train out of control. Your TODOOZ list (gottadooz, wannadooz and wishIcoulddooz) is already a mile long and growing by the minute. You’ve created this HUGE mega-fantasy in your brain of the perfect holiday you’re going to put together for your family — the perfect gifts, the perfect decorations, the perfect meal, the perfect party. You keep telling yourself that it’s all about creating warm and fuzzy memories for your kids that they will cherish forever and ever, even though the twins are only two and a bit (too young to actually remember) and the baby is barely six months (and will probably sleep through the festivities).
The anxiety alert alarms are screeching in your ears and the knots in the pit of your stomach are twisting, as the tug-of-war teams push and pull, heave ho — panic, fluster, stress and overwhelm battling against holiday bliss, excitement, determination, and soaring adrenalin.
You’ve tried every trick in the book to gain control, calm down and get a grip — from positive affirmations (“You’re good! Your cool! You can do it!”) and optimistic visions of the festive day to breathing, meditation, and sugar fixes. (During one of your recent meltdowns, you gobbled up the twins’ leftover Halloween treats without a feeling of remorse or a morsel of guilt!)
Now, how do I know all this, when you thought that the smile glued to your face was the perfect cover-up?
’Cause I’ve been there. I was you, once upon a time — sweaty palms and a pounding heart like African war drums — before every family event and special occasion. That is, before my mama taught me the Waldorf Salad Rule aka the best strategy to staying sane, when you have a gazillion TODOOZ before the holidays.
Many years ago, soon after my daughter was born, I caught a severe case of supermommy-itis. Struggling to juggle a new-born and a toddler, work and studies on top of a husband, who also worked and studied full-time, I was cranky, short-tempered, always on the verge of tears and not fun company to be around.
So, my mama sat me down and told me her story.
“We were having a dinner party. I had spent the entire afternoon cooking. The clock was ticking. The guests were to arrive in a little over an hour. The last item on my list was Waldorf Salad, but, lo and behold, I discovered that we were out of pineapple. What should I do? I could rush to the grocery store around the corner and buy a can, rush home and prepare the salad, but then I wouldn’t have time to shower. Feeling sticky and grimy from all the cooking that wasn’t an option. ‘Shower or Waldorf?’ That was the question. Then, a little bird whispered in my ear, ‘Cross it off the list!’ There was so much food, no one would go hungry and no one would notice! It was as simple as that. So, I tidied up, took my shower and was ready just in time to greet our guests.”
I have lived by my mama’s Waldorf Salad Rule ever since in order to balance my perfectionism with sanity. Time and again, when overwhelmed with demands I have imposed upon myself, I remember her pearls of wisdom and simply cross items off my lists to give myself a breather.
And do you know what? No one has ever noticed the difference!
So, my lovelies, it’s as simple as that. If you’re not sure what to cross off your TODOOZ list, just ask yourself — does it really matter? Will anyone — apart from you — even notice? What your family will take notice of, if you follow the Waldorf Salad Rule, is a more relaxed you, a happier you and how much more time you’re spending with them. And that is perfect holiday bliss!
It’s time to take control of your life and make decisions that work for you.
It’s Time 2 Lead!
It’s time to THRIVE!
Originally published at medium.com