Week 9: The Journey Continues – The Holliday Challenge

Here is an important rule for those who write a blog. It is every bit as important to publish your blog as it is to write it!

I learned that the hard way. I believe I missed a step last week and previewed instead of publishing. I was surprised when I couldn’t find week 9. For those who have been reading “The Journey Continues”, my apologies. Thank you for your patience. Here is what you should have seen last week:

An interesting week. Its the same number of days as a usual week but they say its shorter because of a holiday. Funny how a one day holiday can mean people have taken off for the week. If you are in the people business and need appointments to keep the income coming in, this can be a tough time of the year. Isn’t this thinking really part of the old blue print. I know there is no black Friday in my business and probably not in yours, but if there are no sales or recruits, no money coming in, well that mean that next Friday could be black Friday for completely different reasons. Lights out.

Let’s talk about the mental diet. Smoother does not mean without bumps.

I still did not make it a week without negative thoughts, but I made it farther than the previous weeks and things went much better even with added family events.

We had 3 family events jammed into week 9. A family wedding in Las Vegas, a birthday party for my daughter from out of town and I hosted Thanksgiving for 10 people.

For the wedding, I was assigned music duties. I had many logistical questions and not all got answered before the event, so planning was a challenge. I was given about 9 song suggestions from the bride, a comment about 60’s love songs, some vague suggestion about including the Beatles and an intro song that was extremely hard to find. I knew we had to cover about two and a half hours of music including the reception. No stress, right? I just hoped they could hear the music and the couple liked the musical choices. It turned out they loved it, the groom cried and I even received several positive comments from guests and family members.

My daughter’s birthday party was a much lighter event and came off without an issue even though the cake arrived after the first guests. I guess the offering of drinks helps removes the complaints from the complainers.

Thanksgiving can be very tricky at my house. That expression, “too many cooks in the kitchen” describes our house on some holidays. Unfortunately, most of those other “cooks” are usually just loiterers, hanging around in the kitchen. In the old days my wife got up early and we would cook at her mom’s house. Later as the family dynamic changed, we started hosting at our house. As my wife’s health deteriorated, I took on more of the hosting and cooking duties. For several years that included preparing appetizers, cooking most of the meal, (bird included) clean up, dishes and putting everything away. People would really disappear after dinner. It would happen so fast that you would wonder if it was the rapture.

This year something magical occurred. I had helpers and no complainers. My oldest daughter made appetizers while I tended to the turkey. My nephew jumped in and peeled potatoes. It all turned out great with no worries or tension. I even had help clearing the table and washing the dishes. Success!

With all of that, the events actually went better than expected and were less trouble than ever. It was the times before or after events where the restarts occurred. I am getting better at recognizing some of the trigger events and avoiding them. There is still some of the old way of thinking that keeps sticking up at times. Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop ourselves from speaking sometime? That is step one, of course. Next is not to mentally join people in their negative place.

How did you do? Any holiday mishaps? Holiday victories?

How are you doing with the time vampires? I am still struggling with them, but I did get better at recognizing them and I’m trying to overcome them with better organization and planning. I believe we should all add a clove of garlic along with the compass and magnifying glass. Won’t that be fun to explain to people we meet.

“Hey, why do you have garlic around your neck?” “Oh that? Its to keep the time vampires away.” That should start a great discussion!

Wishing you a great week.
Kurt Schmidt


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