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Refocus and Engage

It's easy to lose sight of the important things in life throughout the year, but particularly during the holiday season. A time of year that was once nothing but fun as a child can very easily become the most stressful months of the year for adults. End-of-the calendar work obligations, an increased presence of family and in-laws, gifts to purchase, bills to pay, each day is shorter in daylight than the last, oh, you failed miserably at that resolution you made 11 ½ months ago, and....AAAARRGGGHH! Add in an open family law case or a spiteful ex who picked now of all times to start a fight over visitation and your blood pressure can quickly rise to a boil.

During the year, it's easy to get sucked up into the daily grind of life, the incessant schedule of work, school, dinner, bedtime, rinse and repeat. It's easy to let that grind catch up to us at the end of the year, only to be punctuated by the stresses of the holiday season. It's easy to spend our time with our children in rote fashion, strictly adhering to routine, not simply because children need routine, but we're just so damned tired to do anything but the routine.

So my advice to you this holiday season is simple: break these routines. Engage your life. Find moments to spend with your child where you "lose" your phone for awhile, where the only thing you're focused on is making him laugh at some silly joke, where she spends an hour telling you about something in her day (even though it could be retold in 5 minutes). Take the long way through the neighborhood on your way home and enjoy some holiday lights. Turn left instead of turning right. Do something that doesn't involve spending one cent. Spend an hour being a child with your child. Or better yet, lose the watch and the cell phone for whole afternoon and wander. Remember that the holidays are for the young, whether in age or at heart, and take advantage of whatever time you have with your child this holiday season. Give them a holiday to remember, even if the rest of your month is spent in the stressful sprint to the finish line of 2016!

Here's to your refocus on the important things , even if it has to be brief.

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