Everyone who knows me well knows that I like to keep a clean and semi-orderly workspace. In fact, before I sit down to write I grab a cup of coffee, light a candle, put on some instrumental music, and straighten up my space. I always thought it was because I was a neat-freak... but that doesn't make any sense. My car, while uncluttered, has dirt and leaves on the floor mats that I haven't bothered to clean out from my last camping trip. What's the difference between my obsessive need for cleanliness and order in my work space but not in my car? Why don't those traits carry over to every aspect of my life?Read More
The holiday season is notoriously stressful. Between shopping for dozens of people, decorating the house and tree, cooking extravagant, multi-course meals and being crowded into tiny spaces with lots of family members, you can empathize, I'm sure. The insanity and chaos that ensues from traditions such as Black Friday certainly doesn't help either.
As I sat in Sunday School yesterday morning, our teacher brought up a rather cool connection. I'm sure many of you smart cookies out there have already drawn this conclusion but it was new to me! He said that Thanksgiving comes at a time of year that perfectly precedes the Christmas season because it buffers the onslaught of Holiday stress with a time of gratitude. Though the histories of the two holidays are not related, it's quite incredible how one acts as the gate keeper for the other. The practice of being grateful that is often encouraged during the Thanksgiving holidays primes the heart and mind with contentment. As a result, you're more likely to have a greater focus on family and friends, more apt to give even if you don't receive and more inclined to get through the daily grind with minimal stress.Read More