Why the five days after Christmas are my favourite time of year.
I know people who can quickly tell me what their favourite time of year is. They can tell me why and make the connections to something significant in their lives. I have never had that time of year to appreciate.
That was until I started reviewing previous journal entires, both handwritten and digital, spanning over the past three years.
There is a common theme. There is a moment of the year I feel more relaxed, motivated, grounded, and happier than any other time of the year. From Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve, I am at peak happiness (26th — 31st December).
Why, I hear you ask. Well, it’s simple.
For a start, I’m with my family and at not at work. This is not saying work is bad. I love spending time with my immediate family — my wife and son. We are all relaxing and enjoying the time together as well as the gifts we received. Moreover, I look forward to the annual Boxing Day lunch at my in-laws. This year it was lasagne, which is one of my favourite meals.
Secondly, I go through the process of reviewing the year and what I have achieved as well as the things I did not achieve. Through the reflective process, I find I am grateful for plenty of things that have happened over the year. Even the adversity brings new and significant opportunities.
Finally, there’s nothing to do. Truthfully, there are plenty of things I could do, but I don’t, intentionally. It is my time to relax, procrastinate and follow any hobbies I have neglected over the past twelve months. For example, I spent two hours this morning colouring in a Zen mindfulness book. I only stopped because my hand was hurting. An hour later, I was writing this post without a care in the world.
I had time this morning to complete the Embrace the Year collection journal in Stoic App. It was an opportunity to truly reflect on 2023 and plan ahead for 2024. I believe the year will be great. I made a list of things I wanted to achieve in 2024, but I won’t touch any of it until 1st January 2024. What I have wrote in my list of things to achieve will take a lot of work. I’m not ready to start on them until I have enough physical and mental energy to challenge myself properly.
The next five days are all about guilt-free ‘free time’ where I can do what I want and not worry about optimising my productivity outflow or whatever nonsense these productivity gurus spew out. You know the people. The ones that have to optimise everything to be more productive or more hardcore!
I’ve been alive for 41 years and worked in several industries. I’ve found the key to productivity — happiness. No-one will be their best if they don’t love what they do. One aspect of building that happiness is switching off from the grind and resting. Your body will thank you for it. Your mental and physical self are connected.
These five days will be focused on resting to let my body recover from a busy term I had working in a school.
Thereafter, I will have one week to review and draw out actionable plans for the year ahead. Until then, it is time to relax and enjoy my favourite time of the year.
I wish you all the very best for 2024. Aim towards your goals, but please don’t burn yourself out in the process. I’ve been there. It’s not pretty.
As always, take care and thank you for reading my post.
Mark @ CodeMacLife
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