With Christmas looming, I wanted to share with you my 'Christmas anchor'. Now, believe it or not it is the only way I look forward to visiting the post office at this time of the year so feel free to take my idea and use your waiting time wisely too.
If, like me, you only have one post office close by, it is likely that you will be standing in line for some time in the lead up to Christmas. We of course have the added pressures of postal strikes this year too!
For me it's normally around a 20min wait. It's a moment where time seems to just stand still and take ages so why not choose to use this time wisely.
Here's what I do each year and I like to call it my 'Christmas anchor'. Anchor meaning my reminder of the importance and benefits of doing this at the end of each year.
I open email on my phone and send myself a message. I start with typing exactly how life was going at that precise moment. I describe how my work is going, health, relationships etc and write a quick update on each.
Then it's time to send the email to myself and CC myself from another email too just to be on the safe side, a backup when looking for it again 12 months down the line.
What I have failed to mention above was step number one, which is the most important step of all. Before writing the email to myself I search for last year’s email first, have a read and reflect on what has/hasn't changed and how I managed this situation.
This year I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost everything I had on my mind in last year’s postal queue had resolved itself in one way or another in the space of 12 months or less.
Some of the things I wrote last year were:
I will be turning 50 this year...how will I even be able to say this out loud? >
I ended up embracing the big 50 and all the positives that turning 50 entails i.e. Now having a really good excuse when forgetting things.
Embarking on house renovations, the mess and the stress that this can cause. >
Well, thankfully this never happened and I have made peace with not doing this now for at least a couple of years.
Not knowing how I was going to cope with not seeing my son very much this year due to university demands. >
The year has simply flown by and with all the facetime and WhatsApp messages I ended up not missing him too much at all. We even had a wonderful family holiday together in Spain this year which was not planned.
Reflecting back on what your worries were 12 months ago and how you resolved/changed/coped with the situation can be such a refreshing feeling. Doing this gives our mind the opportunity to pause amidst the Christmas chaos, to sort through and think about our experiences, and interpret our past to give new meaning for our future. Quite frankly, we will not move forward and grow from past experiences if we don't understand them.
I then emailed a brand new list of things that were on my mind there and then and as I did this, it became clear that my thoughts were getting hung up on things that ended up playing out absolutely fine. We of course have a very useful tool for life here at The Wise Hippo called the 'Thought Exchange' to help switch off that little devil on your shoulder.
Today I found myself back in the annual Christmas postal queue reflecting and focusing on where I am right now, feeling grateful for all that I have and just being here....another year older and definitely now that I'm 50 ( shouting this loud and proud!) I can definitely say wiser!
So the next time you are waiting in your postal queue ( or something similar) remember what you read here today and I hope that you will look back on your last 12 months with fond memories knowing that you had all the strength and wisdom within you to handle any obstacles that crossed your path.
With Love and blessings at this special time of the year.