Balance During the Holidays When You Own A Business

Life is all about balance, we’ve heard it applied to many, many situations in life. This time of the year, with Holidays upon us is the balance of work and business. But how do we create balance in a way that friends, family, employees, and customers all get the best of you during this incredibly important time of the year?

This article touches on three key points to finding balance during the holidays. As a solopreneur, it’s easy to get out of balance, but it’s also entirely possible to live life well. These steps are things that I’ve done to live life well during these busier than usual days.

1. Stay organized

Lists, times, planning. It matters for work, it matters for home, now it matters even more for work and home during this time of the year. I make lists from when I workout to what needs to be done during the day. I respond, connect, send emails, do what I need to at home and work, and CROSS THINGS OFF MY LIST as I do them.

Making lists and crossing things off matters because I not only feel productive that way, but I stay super organized in a way I wouldn’t otherwise. This also keeps me balanced during the holidays. I can clearly see what is work related and what is home/holiday life that I’m putting my energy into.

2. Keeping my start and stop times

Start and stop times with work, exercise, time give to friends and family, and time shopping or doing at home holiday activities must be kept. There isn’t a better way that I’ve ever experienced with keeping boundaries than to follow my own start and stop times. Not going past those times is key to staying on track. It also will help other around you, especially family, to know when you are available and when you are not, And this matters even more if you are like me and work from home. Work and not work can become convoluted, so stay on track with your start and stop times.

I CAN get distracted. But I try not to. And one easy way is to keep my start and stop times for this busy holiday season flowing with ease and actually following them. Times help create balance during the holidays!

3. Relax

Lastly, but most importantly – RELAX! It’s easier said than done sometimes, but by staying relaxed in the process of all there is to do, you will have a better holiday season. Know your boundaries, stick to them, get organized, and then relax into the process. Without the ability to relax, you’ll soon see the entire holiday season get away from you and you will be worse off for it. Take the next couple of weeks in stride and you will come out the other side alive and well!

To Wrap Up

There are three simple steps you can find balance during the holidays. Make lists, stick to the allotted times for work and outside-of-work activities, and relax into the process and the season that’s upon us. By following these three steps you will have a better, healthier holiday season that you are excited about, rather than stressed out about.

What else can you add to the list that help bring balance during the holidays? Drop a comment!

Time is Short: Let’s Live in the Moment This Holiday Season

We are RIGHT in the middle of the biggest holiday season of the year, and I wanted to share something new that is on my heart and mind this year more than others.

TIME IS SHORT.

It seems to fly by these days. But one major way I see it, is that my parents are getting older. I still rely on my parents for advice and wisdom. I trust them more than anyone else on planet earth (aside from my spouse).

But. They are still getting older and time is short.

It wasn’t that long ago that as a little girl I was SO excited to make cookies for Santa and would dress up in my best dress for our church’s candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

And here I am at thirty years old recognizing the brevity of the life we have.

The holidays, from Halloween to New Years, is magical. But it’s also painful for so many people.

Pain from loss, pain from finances, pain from health problems, pain from change, pain from not being where you imagined you would be at this stage of life.

But in that pain, time is short. We can hold onto the hope of seasons passing and changing and still press into the good things that offset the painful ones in the season we find ourselves.

My “exhortation” (a very old school word in some ways) is to:

  • Live in the moment.
  • Don’t take anything good in your life now for granted.
  • Be good to your family and friends and sensitive to those who are struggling now.
  • Write down good memories in your journal and take lots of photos of your family and friends.

Time is short, but we can seize the good things and good parts of our day and lives, letting go of the bad. And time is short, so if we are in a painful season, we know it won’t last and we will be able to breathe again soon.

Are You Trying to Find Joy During the Holiday Season, When You’re in Your Thirties and Feeling Broke?

This post, and the book and journal options that are available, are for you. The following excerpt is from a short book I recently wrote in my own season of feeling broken in many ways, including financially, not long ago. I decided to actually sit down and study joy: what is it and how do I get more of it when I just don’t feel it? After getting clarity and breakthrough, I decided to write and package my book in a way that others can find joy too!

You can purchase the book and Reflective Journal for yourself! The journal includes access to an online community to get support, quotes, guided questions, and action steps to really put joy into action this season, just where and how you are now. To get the book and journal click on the photos below or these links: FINDING JOY BOOK || FINDING JOY JOURNAL


Part 1 – What is Joy Really?

Finding joy in a “season of joy” when you don’t feel it, but instead all you feel is broke. Wow. That’s a tough one. And something that I wrestled with too long before sitting down and deciding that I was going to understand this joy word: what it is and how do I find it. Three little letters that pack a huge punch J-O-Y. And to feel the full weight of the word and really understand it, it’s almost like you need to know the opposite: Misery, Trials, Tribulation, and Brokenness. If you’re reading this now, you’re probably fully aware of one tribulation: feeling broke in a season of giving and… joy.

In this short book, we’ll look at a couple of exact definitions of joy, but first we have to understand something super important: Joy is not happiness, it supersedes our circumstances, and it actually brings strength to the person who chooses to grasp it. This is
why I bring up knowing the opposite of joy. Because sometimes it is through the very things we hate in life the brokenness, misery, trials, and walking through tribulations- that joy can show its face and have lasting impact in the moment and carry us beyond the moment.

By definition joy is, “joy, calm delight, or inner gladness.” This definition comes from the ancient Greek word “chara.”* There are many other definitions such as: gladness, mirth, or as dictionary.com defines it, “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” Joy sounds happy and light! It sounds like a great thing. So why does this great, happy thing seem so hard to grasp, especially with the Holiday season? Gifts, parties, dinners, Secret-Santas, things to do, people to see, and EVERYTHING COSTS SOMETHING! From first-hand experience, when you feel broke all the good can twist up quickly and become a point of anxiety and fear. But if we understand that joy is available to us DESPITE the trials and tribulations in life, we can approach the season with openness and even joy. So let’s unpack and understand the definitions of joy by looking at where we can see it in day-to-day life…

Do not wait to experience joy this season! Get your book and journal today. It will be worth it.

The book offers insight and clarity from someone (myself) with first hand experience in finding freedom from feeling broke, experiencing joy instead.

The journal includes:

  • Guided questions to help get to the heart of the matter
  • Extra pages to journal
  • Quotes to turn back to when you need hope
  • Action steps that you can take now
  • AND the opportunity to join an online community for support in this season

*Audry, “Words of Faith Hope and Love,” https://www.wordsoffaithhopelove.com/what-is-joy-inthe-bible/

Philly Meets Bethlehem

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When you get one day off in a quarter, because you work three jobs and volunteer three places, you want it to mean some something and you treat that day like gold. At least I do because that’s been my life since August.

That golden day off, I took a solo adventure to Philadelphia, a city I had “been to” twice to the King of Prussia mall (not even in Philly) and once to a club in the middle of the night for New Years. When I was in college in CA, and friends told me about Love Park and seeing the Liberty Bell in my home state and I made it a goal to one day see those famous sites in Philly, not too far from my home town in PA.

It helps that my younger brother moved to Philly in recent months and that his birthday was just around the corner. It was worth my little adventure to see him for dinner and to have a place to park my car for the day.

The day before, I connected with a local Philly girl about what she recommended as the top “must see” spots for an impromptu day trip.

Alone but not lonely in my ventures, the Liberty Bell was free to visit, Love Park is pea sized compared to my original expectations, the Macy’s Christmas light show was cute, and I stumbled upon so much history!

Thomas Jefferson is buried in the city, the original White House was in Philly before being moved to D.C. Betsy Ross, who sewed the first American flags, stars forming a circle instead of lines on the flag, lived in Philly. And one of the cutest, oldest standing streets in the country, Elpheth’s Ally, was decorated a quaint colonial feel for Christmas.

History, lights, trains into the city, and navigating the sites was necessary and fun to get a quick breather and impromptu day traveling!

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Liberty Bell

I also learned how excruciatingly small the world is. You see, Love Park offers a Christmas Village with vendors from all over selling cute trinkets and off beat Christmas presents, and Danish food and drinks for purchase. At that point it was 4 PM, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and had driven 3 hours and walked the city. A flaky, sweet, cinnamony apple strudel was waiting for me at an older baker’s shop. Between that and a coffee, I enjoyed my snack, as I sat on dirty, city steps below the LOVE at Love Park, while a musician played Christmas carols for the bystanders.

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Love Park

 

I looked around and noticed a booth with wooden carvings and a sign that said something about Bethlehem. Having been to Bethlehem I wandered over and peeked in.

“I’ve seen these carvings before!” I told the man and woman inside. “Are you from Bethlehem? Are these from Bethlehem?”

“Yeah!” the woman responded. “They’re from his family’s shop; they ship them here. We just want to share a little bit of Bethlehem with the people here!”

I pulled out my phone and showed her a Facebook pic that I had posted of the shop I visited in Bethlehem in 2012.

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Photo in Bethlehem of carved camel from Olive Tree wood.

“Yes! We used to sell camel carvings like that!”

I turned to the man, “The man in this shop that I went to in Bethlehem, he talked about the USA and selling things here, was he your father perhaps? I mean I know there were a ton of olive tree, wood carvings shops all on one street, but what if I met your father?”

In Bethlehem when I visited in 2012, the man in the shop stood out to me because he talked to the other students and myself when we were there. He was tall and refined looking. The shop was clean and organized. And he spoke about the USA as he traveled here himself and shipped carvings.

He was also a Christian. In his shop there were carvings of Jesus on the cross as well as quaint nativity scenes to purchase, all made from Olive Tree wood in the little town of Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

Now, the man in Philly smiled, “Yeah, there are a lot of shops in Bethlehem right next to each other, but my Dad runs a store there. You probably met him!”

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*Photo I took from a shop in Bethlehem in 2012.

I explained that the camel I bought from his father was bowing almost. It had a bit of red rug on his back, like the camels on display in their booth in Philly. They laughed and said I was a Bethlehem girl. Then they helped me pick out a small ornament as a Christmas gift for my mom.

The encounter was inspiring, but I was a bit weirded out, not going to lie.

It reminds me, the world is small. There are connections all over.

What’s more is my experience in Israel was difficult on a number of levels, but I loved the camel carving I bought. And since the encounter with this Israeli couple in Philly, memories have floated back to mind about my trip years before to their homeland.

Beyond that, it is Christmas. Celebrating Christmas now with flashbacks of the place that set the scene for the first nativity scene works for me…

It’s like He planned it.