Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Holiday Joy

My faith uses the advent wreath as part of preparing for Christmas day. Traditionally this is a wreath, but I have a wooden bowl with candle holders. I had this bowl made for me when we lived in Germany and my boys were babies. Each candle has a separate meaning. Hope, love, joy, and peace are each represented by a different candle. This past Sunday was the Sunday of Joy. This candle is pink and is my favorite of all.

Sunday afternoon I went to a client's home to work. I knew she had been going through some rough times but when I pulled up in front of her house, I was worried.

Each year she goes all out in decorating her yard. There was not one single decoration out. I was welcomed into her home where she did have a couple of decorations in her living room.

She told me that she was depressed and angry and that she was not going to do any real decorating this year. Last year at this time one of her cats was run over and killed and she blames her neighbors. She does not feel like putting out anything for them to enjoy.

We had a little "discussion". OK, I called her a Grinch. ( We have been working together for many years and know each other well.) I made a face. She made a face, and we laughed. I told her that we were both going through some rough spots and if I could experience joy, so could she. We sorted our her living room (she temporarily has a niece camping out in her home) and then put up some lights. We worked a bit on her shrine to her deceased cats. By putting on some music, laughing and joking through our work and putting up some more outside decorations, the mood really shifted.

I think we both felt more joyous at the end of our session.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Savor the Season

Two more weeks until Christmas. This holiday season has been different, yet I still want to keep the season as normal as possible. I want to savor all the wonderfulness of the season.

About mid-October I usually plan out my timeline for the upcoming holidays. I love having the plan and ten not having to worry about the details.

This year is different. About the beginning of October, we realized that my husband, Rob, has cancer. Now, we really are expecting to win this fight but meanwhile with radiation five days a week and chemo once a week, life priorities have shifted.

Right off, instead of sending out a "save the date" email for our annual holiday party, I sent off a "we are cancelling our party this year" email. Then, I looked over my usual list of holiday tasks, most of which I really enjoy, and made some modifications.

I wanted to decorate our house. I left off some of the trimming but basically did most of it. Rob was able to help me get the tree up and my son, Darin, was able to help with some of the outside decorations. I still sent out cards, but with shorter notes inside. I still baked cookies but did not have to prepare food for the party. Most gifts were ordered on line and some were sent directly to the recipients.

There comes a point at the end of each day that I sit in the living room with Rob where we enjoy our decorations, listen to some holiday music, and work on the crossword puzzle together.

On Christmas day, my son will come over and spend the day with us. Our meal will be much simpler than usual, but we will enjoy each other's company and just relax together. It is a wonderful time of the year!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer