During this busy holiday season, I know a lot of families search for balance, trying to fit everything in. I think in that “searching,” we actually sometimes get further away from the balance, rather than more in sync with it. What I have found to be useful for myself, is to be flexible, go with the flow, and realize that my week, my day, even this hour, does not have to be a certain way. It’s a learning experience. Many times we find what works through experiencing what doesn’t work. The humor in all of this is that tomorrow is a new day, with new experiences, new moods, new everything. Balance yesterday may or may not look like balance today. So, rather than striving for “balance,” I would recommend allowing “flow.”

There is a story about putting rocks, sand and water into your jar of life. It gives the analogy of your rocks being the big and important pieces in your day. You stick the rocks in the jar first. Then, you look for those other things, the sand, that you really want to accomplish, but your day wouldn’t be completely lost without them. Lastly, you fill the jar with everything else you would like to fit in, the water. The whole point of the story is that if you fill the jar with sand and water first, the little things that really make no significant difference in your life, there is no room for the rocks, those activities and people and things that you do really care about. And, may I suggest that YOU be a rock in the jar.

This would be an interesting exercise to do as a family, comparing notes to find out what is important to each of you. What are your rocks? What are you kids’ rocks?  Do you have too many rocks? Are some of them actually sand or water? Do you need some help and maybe someone else can take on one of your rocks? There are no rules, just “flow.”

So, as you leap into the holiday season, look for ways to experience and express joy, laughter, play and magic. Modeling this for our children, and refusing to buy into the stress (filling your jar with sand and water first), will create fond memories as opposed to heavy memories. The holidays are a time to be with those you love, share from your heart, and take some time off for enjoyment (rocks). How can you create that space in your home? Perhaps adding to your November gratitude journal would be an awesome way to get started!

Remember what is important to you in the big picture. Ask yourself, “What are my rocks?” What a gift … what a tool … to share with your kids!

Wishing you a beautiful Christmas full of joy, love and laughter!

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