I hate to sound like Scrooge, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be my least favorite of the year. I love Christmas Eve and the actual day of Christmas but can do without crowded mall shopping, blasting holiday music, and the general feeling of overwhelm that seem to accompany the season. Every year, I tell myself I won’t let the holiday season stress me out, and every year it does (or, rather, I allow it to).
I’m a bit of a mess right now, but a little less of a mess than in other years because this year I made an oath to take care of myself. I’ve never been one to buy myself birthday or Christmas gifts, and even though holiday shopping can be overwhelming, I adore giving presents to friends and family and would normally never dream of spending part of my gift budget on myself. However, this year I decided to make myself a stocking that represents my commitment to taking care of myself in the next year.
As I wondered what fully showing up and supporting myself meant to me, I was surprised to discover that what came forward was the concept that I deserve to experience the feeling of something being 100%.
That might sound like a strange concept, but growing up in a large family living on a modest income, I became accustomed to making things work that really weren’t 100%. For example, when I was given a pair of hand-me-down boots that were a size too large, I wedged toilet paper in the toes and gratefully wore them. I trained my eye to see past small stains on t-shirts or piles of other people’s things cluttering the living room. None of that was bad, but I’ve also stayed in relationships and work situations that no longer served me 100%.
I’m not willing to settle for 90% anymore. I’m worthy of 100% of my own attention to details. While I haven’t worn clothing with stains for years, I’m aware that I still sometimes allow people, situations, and items into my experience that aren’t up to par.
My stocking is a metaphor for entering a new phase of my adulthood where I take 100% responsibility for caring for my well-being. If something is not at that 100% level, I need to make it so or let go of it. I realize this might be tough, especially when it comes to aspects of my life like relationships and work, but I think it’s possible to make subtle changes that will shift those experiences. I might need to give more of myself to bring an experience up to the 100% mark, to share my authentic 100%, communicate at my 100%, love at my 100%, accepting myself and others 100% …
My stocking contains simple but significant reminders:
Shoe Sizers, because I have 9-and-¼ sized feet. I’ve spent my entire life sizing up or down, and from here on out I am taking an oath to add a Sizer to every shoe that doesn’t fit 100%.
A pair of Keysocks, because sometimes I want to wear socks with heels and find myself settling by showing socks that I don’t 100% love or choosing not to wear a pair of socks even if that means I’ll get blisters. No more!
And, finally, a pair of foldable Butterfly Twist ballet flats, because I hate lugging a second pair of shoes around when I wear heels; or, worse, keeping on a pair of heels when my feet are sore. These flats can fold into a clutch and allow me to tap into being 100% balanced anytime I want.
Bring on 2014, because I’m embracing 100% of it!
What does allowing 100% mean to you?
In the spirit of easing into the holidays, this will be my last post until 2014. I wish you and yours a fantastic New Year.
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