Reduced stress. Increased productivity. Improved well-being.


As seen in the Dayton Daily News on January 13, 2018.

I know the holiday season is behind us, but today’s column is composed of random happenings that took place this past Christmas. They kept surfacing in my thoughts, so I’m sharing them in hopes they will help you live better this year.

Weeks before Christmas, my oldest daughter was invited to a party. Everyone was to bring a ‘white elephant’ item for the gift exchange. The item was not to be store bought, but something from your home that you no longer want. My daughter called me to tell me she was in a dilemma. There was nothing she wanted to part in her home. She loved or needed everything. In the end, a friend gave her something for her to give away.

I was fascinated, and quite frankly, a bit jealous of my daughter. After all, I could find items in my home that I could part with for a castoff gift. Think about this for a moment, what would your life be like if you truly loved and needed everything in your home? What would happen if you got rid of those things you hold onto out of habit? My daughter’s story inspired me to get rid of my white elephants.

During Christmas, my extended family always does a gift exchange game. Each person brings a gift that is opened and then available for stealing by other family members. My husband and I always bow out of this game, even though I feel a bit guilty for doing so. I don’t like to spend my time shopping, so buying fewer gifts makes the season a little less stressful for me.

We often do things because we think we should. What would happen if you stayed true to yourself and didn’t let others impose their ideas on you? Are you spending your time on buying or doing things because someone else thinks you should?

I opened a gift from a dear friend of mine. It was a t-shirt that said ‘Goal Digger.’ On one hand, I was upset with her for buying me a gift. We agreed to have dinner together instead of exchanging gifts. On the other hand, the shirt made me feel happy for how my year went. I did reach a lot of the goals I set for myself.

If someone bought you a t-shirt, what would it say? If it wouldn’t be flattering, I am guessing you spend a lot of your time putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own? You can’t keep ignoring yourself. Get a little selfish this year and put your goals ahead of everyone else’s on occasion.  After all, you can’t keep helping everyone else if don’t take care of yourself.

What ‘noise’ is in your life that you could eliminate? Do you own so many things that your spare time is spent maintaining it all? Are you spending money on things that bring short term happiness and then cause problems later? Are you living your truth by spending your free time doing things that you enjoy? Pay attention this year to how you are spending your time, money and what you are storing in your home. Stop wasting your resources on things that won’t matter in the long run.


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