10 things to do before 2013 begins

Only 10 things, you say?

If you’re like me, you have a million things to do before you say goodbye to 2012 and the New Year starts — in just one month.  Eeeeek!

So, I put together a list of 10 fun and nurturing things for you to do this month so you have the energy to do the other 999,990 items on your list;-)

But first …

Three months ago, I bought an amaryllis bulb kit at the grocery store for a very reasonable $7.99.  It said on the box “guaranteed to bloom” and I believed the promise.

But after two months, I starting doubting.  Nothing happened.  The little plastic container of dirt sat lifeless on our window sill.

Then a month ago, vibrant green leaves pushed through the dirt and a sturdy stem shot up.  Still, nothing happened except for a jolly green giant stalk.

And, I started to give up on the beautiful, red, “guaranteed-to-bloom” amaryllis pictured on the box.

Until today!

When this exquisite flower popped out and I can see what is yet to unfold!

Once again, I learned the lesson: growth takes patience.

Her flowering is coming at the perfect time.  She will be in full “guaranteed” bloom at the height of all the December holidays and the New Year!

And to help get us through to the New Year…

Here are 10 ideas to make the busy month ahead a little less stressful and a lot more fun and rewarding:

1) Schedule now a relaxing, healing treatment for yourself.  Time for a manicure, pedicure, massage, facial, etc. will be welcome relief during the holiday hubbub.

(If you’re reading this, Woman on Fire Tamara Caggiano of Naples, Florida…I’m calling tomorrow to schedule a watsu with you!)

2) As with the amaryllis, find something to keep close by that is growing or glowing as a daily reminder of beauty and simplicity.

3) Read Elaine St. James’s inspiring little book — Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways To Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joys of the Holidays. Amazon Link. (Even if you’re not celebrating Christmas, the author offers helpful ideas to make this time of the year easier.)

4) Is there someone in your life you’ve been missing and thinking about? Maybe you had a falling out.  Or life got too busy to really connect. Reach out. It will delight both of you.

5) Schedule a “girls’ lunch” or “girls’ night out” with friends you love being with and feel rejuvenated by when you’re with them.

6) Find a new holiday song to enjoy!

7) Consider going on a “communications diet” for at least several days.  From December 21-January 1, I take a break from email and all social media including Facebook to give myself a rest from constant communication. You’re welcome to join me.

8) Take stock of all your major activities and events in 2012.  Share with a friend or make it a family activity. Discuss what you accomplished and are proudest of; and what you didn’t get to do in 2012 that you want to make happen in 2013.

9) Schedule now some “sacred” times during December for peace and quiet — and spend it doing whatever will make you happy and fill your heart and soul.

10) Add something new to a favorite holiday tradition.  This year I’m going to make Gabrielle Hamilton’s milk punch with sesame cookies instead of egg nog and thumbprint cookies.

BONUS: 11)  Eat. Drink. And be merry.

A fresh New Year starts in 29 days!