Full or Fulfiling? Living Life to the Fullest!

As we approach the holiday season, we get busy. Not just the 'kind of' busy like we are the rest of the year. This is seriously, every minute occupied, you can't catch a breath type of busy. Our lives are full of kid parties, adult parties, work parties, church parties, shopping, preparing food, wrapping gifts, family parties, school, work, and just about everything else you can think of! We do a lot of stuff!

Sometimes, I ask myself if being so busy is worth it. For me, the holidays would not be the same without seeing all my friends and family. BUT, at the same time all the activities drain me a little. It has made me think a lot about a 'full' life versus a 'fulfilling' life. Both of them have lots of activities, places to go, people to see, things to do. To me, the difference is why we do them.

Yes, I know there are some things that we have to attend. We have obligations we have to meet, responsibilities to fill, but why do we do these events? And when I am in charge of an event, what sort of activities am I doing? Does everything have to be super complicated? Do I have to have three games for the kids and two for the adults? And a five course meal?

I have to step back and remember why I am going to a party. To enjoy myself! To visit with family and friends. As I plan and attend events, I try to remember a few simple tips.

First, sometimes simple is perfectly fine. A potluck, even if everyone brings dessert, is totally fine. Simple decorations are usually great. I remember the fun times I have, not if the table looked pretty. Inviting a few friends over to play games can be just a fun as a hugely complicated party.

Another tip: plan ahead! Because I work a lot, I menu plan for a week or two at a time. I include what events are coming up, menu ideas for each day, family events, and what time I work each day. Trying to do three parties in one day because I didn't realize they were all on the same day is hard! Plan and schedule so you know what is going on. Easy recipes and crock pots are my friend. Check out this super easy, super yummy Tator Tot Casserole recipe that is really quick to put together in a flash! It's at the bottom of the page!

Make events meaningful. A few months ago, while visiting my in-laws, we sat and sang some songs with family. Not anything incredibly meaningful or profound, but a nice moment to share and remember. The huge parties can be fun (I love a carol sing along!) and I love sampling the food everyone brings, but sometimes a small gathering a few close friends is just a good. Mix it up!

Most importantly, find what works for you. What is meaningful to me might be less meaningful for you. Some people thrive on huge parties, while others don't. But think about what you want. Make the holiday season significant for you instead of a blur of lights and tinsel. Enjoy yourself!

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    Brenda Lower
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2015
    Email the author! brenda@dvo.com

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