Soft, like water

Spaces filling in the "Write Out 2013; Write In 2014" online retreat December 31, 1-7 pm EST. This is a great change to close the door emotionally on 2013 (which was pretty lousy for a lot of us) and open the door for 2014 in one focused chunk of time. (No worries if you can't do all six hours or have to dip in and out from work or with kids.) Register here.

These days feel like a netherworld. I'm still celebrating Christmas (Third Day of Christmas, according to the church calendar) but plenty of people have their decorations down and are done with it completely. Some people are back at work, while others are still in vacation mode, and that may or may not correspond with whether you're still celebrating Christmas or not.

There's so much to get done, but it doesn't feel like you can make much progress until everyone's back at work after the New Year.

So do we tread water (and by "tread water" I actually mean "eat cookies") and feel bad about not getting anything done until January 2?

I'm going to offer a challenge: Actually, deeply relax, as much as you can, from now until January 2.

If you have little kids with you, there's only so much relaxation you can do, but do what you can. See if you can stop the panic tape in your head about what should be happening.

If you're not in control of your environment because you're at someone else's house, see if you can give in to that and just take the good parts from that. (The vent post is there whenever you need it.)

If you're back at work Monday and Tuesday, do what you need to get done but don't engage into work worry mode. Pretend you're a high-achieving temp with good intentions but no strategic responsibilities.

If there are things that hurt you (and maybe are still hurting you) about how Christmas happened/is happening, don't think about them. Let them be and give yourself a rest emotionally. They'll still be there to analyze and plan to avoid in a few weeks, when you've got more strength to deal with them. (If you want to deal with them then, we're doing that in the free Christmas emails.)

See if you can give yourself permission not to feel like you're not doing enough or like there are things you should be doing.

Listen to some music. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. Breathe.