As someone who loves what they do and works from home, it’s sometimes hard to take time off. 

But, I vowed no work – no emailing, blogging, no clients or even turning on the computer for 5 days in a row.

I knew I had to keep the computer off or I would get sucked into reading email or working on a project. It allowed me to turn off from work completely.

We traveled and visited my parents, grandparents and my sister and her husband. We played Upwords, Scrabble, and Chicago in a Box. We relaxed to movies and music. We read.

I am reading a great book called Coming Up for Air by Margaret Becker about her month long retreat by the Gulf of Mexico one winter. She had to practice turning off as well.  She wrote, "The full scope of what I should be experiencing has been shoved aside in the name of efficiency." So during her retreat she experienced deeply sunsets and sunrises, the crash of the surf, music, shells and Christmas trees. The experiences nurtured her and made her feel alive.

My time off nurtured me as well and I felt connected with my family.

I drove to the store one dark evening with the moon roof open, feeling the cold air blowing around me. I looked up at moon and stars hiding among the clouds. And I did feel alive.

If you have time off for Christmas coming up, how can you create the boundaries for no work during your time off?

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  • Sara

    Hi Beth! Well, I had no idea you or your blog were out there in the blogoshere! How fun to find you! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.
    I’ve read back a bit and looked at your work. What a great idea you’ve got here, to be a simplifying coach. I simplified my life slowly over the course of several years, which worked for me. I’m certainly no guru but when I look back at how I used to manage and how I do things now, it’s definitely different.
    I read through your list for simplifying Christmas and I thought I’d mention something that we’ve done to make it more enjoyable for our family. We always felt that there was too much emphasis in the DAY and not enough on the season so we decided to spread it out. You’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas? Well, we start ours on the winter solstice, which we observe, and end it on New Years Day. We try to do small things that are Christmas-y just about every day during that time. They are just small things like a walk in the woods, watching “A Christmas Carol”, baking cookies, getting together with friends or family, stuff like that. Lots of those things would happen anyway but we think of them as part of a season rather than just activites that crowd the holidays. That makes them feel a bit more meaningful. We have tried to tone down the actual day of Christmas but it’s still pretty big at our house.
    One thing I try to ask myself throughout the season is “Does this activity energize me or drain me?” If I decided it’s not energizing, I avoid doing it.
    Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll definiteyl be back to visit.

  • info

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks for the great ideas! I love spreading Christmas out. That’s a great question – and the main reason I don’t bake for the holidays. Shh don’t tell anyone 🙂

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