Monday, January 2, 2017 / 30 Comments

How to Take The Pressure Off in the New Year

night, person, silhouette

Every year the holidays roll around and I do great about getting up our Fall stuff. Usually I have Fall up in late August because I'm so over the brown dead grass that we put up with at the end of Summer every year, but by the time November rolls around I come down sick as a dog with sinus stuff and it all goes to pot.

After lots of thinking and contemplating I realize that I always wait until a month before any holiday or celebration to work on it and it's just not enough time with real life going on too. 

Every year I say I'm going to get out Christmas cards, host a family gathering for extended family and get homemade bread made for gifts. Every year I go shopping and come down sick. 

Long story short. It's time to remake what I do and when. That goes for everything. Friendships, parties, gatherings and holidays.

Free stock photo of sea, beach, holiday, vacation

When I was in my 20's I had more energy and could pull off stuff faster but in my 30's and a move to a farm, where my sinuses are inflamed constantly, I can't get it all done at once.


I've been thinking for the last 2 years instead of sending out Christmas Cards I want to try and send out Happy New Year's Cards. The only down side of that is that they are hard to find in bulk.

Free stock photo of fashion, person, red, love

So moving on I've decided sending out Valentine's Day cards is practical for us. 

They are affordable and available and it's my hubby's birthday a few days before so it's a great way to start off the new year letting people know you care about them.

I need to finally get the Christmas decorations painted in late Spring and I can plan our garden the entire month of Jan. 

Just because other people do it their way doesn't mean we have to do it the way they do it. 

For instance the farm is invaded with friends and children from late May until Mid August. I love it and have for a long time but the down side is that I can't get much done in that time frame because there are people everywhere.

This year I'm going to pull back and say no - so we can get caught up. Instead of having them down constantly I'm going to limit their visits. Not only will it save us financially it will allow us to have more quality time with them and work on some stuff we need to get done.

We used to foster kids and those kids are always welcome but we have a lot of friends that come down with their kids and move in for the Summer. We foot the bill for everything. It get's old. Food, gas, entertainment and the insane amount of whining that we hear gets old. I want to spend more time with happy people. So I'm going to limit them to coming down twice during the Summer and maybe for only 3 days. 

See sometimes in life we have too learn to take the pressure off and think outside of the box.

Just because everyone else does it one way doesn't mean we have to do it that way too.

Here are some ?'s to ask yourself  now.

1. Do I have to do it?

2. Do I enjoy it?

3. Do I get anything out of it?

4. Am I making a difference?

Obviously if you have to do it- like taxes- you have to do it.

 If you don't enjoy it don't do it. I enjoy having company at the farm often, I don't enjoy having them for a week at a time in the heat of Summer. So the solution is to have them come down less often and for shorter periods of time.

If I don't get any enjoyment, satisfaction or brownie points for doing it ---- I need to stop doing it. Just because other people send out super cute Christmas cards every year doesn't mean I have to.. I can' do Valentine's cards and accomplish the same thing.

If I'm not making a difference there is no point in doing it. If someones or somethings life isn't changed as a result of my choices why are we doing it anyway? Ask yourself this. I put up decorations on our front gates every month and for every season. I do it because I enjoy it and so do the people that drive by. If I don't get anything out of it there would be no point in doing it.

White Blooming Flower Under the Tree during Daytime

This formula can be applied to anything in your life. Just because other people did New Years words and resolutions doesn't mean I have to. So I didn't. I just told myself to do the best I can do everyday. 

It's what works for me.

So there you have it. You have your own permission to take the pressure off and enjoy the new year.

Happy New Year,


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  1. I love this!!! Learning this at your young age is fabulous. It took me a lot longer to let go of all those things that I was spinning my wheels doing over and over. You go girl!! Thank you so much for your comment on my birthday absolutely warmed my heart! xoxo

  2. Sounds like great ideas for cutting stress...and I love the idea of sending Valentines...

  3. Happy New Year to you! It's a great idea to take the pressure off, we always put too much stress on ourselves. Enjoy 2017! Kelly

  4. Your story reminds me of many years ago when my ex husband and I lived in a beautiful area in Oregon with a view of Mt. Hood on our two acre "farm". The first year we moved there, EVERYONE came out on every weekend.. to spend the night, eat, drink and visit! They always came empty handed and expected us to feed everyone and spend our time entertaining everyone. After one summer of that, I decided it wasn't fair to us and I was tired of it! It didn't give us any time to do our own activities. So the next summer, we told everyone (my family and his) that they had to let us know ahead of time if they wanted to come, and we would let them know if that worked into our plans. Also, if they did come on a planned visit, they would have to help with the food expenses or bring some. It got to where they would call first, and we could then tell them if the upcoming weekend would work or not. It was hard to say "no" at first, but after awhile, it came naturally! If you have tons of family members and kids, why not send out a little postcard next spring, letting everyone know (nicely of course) that for reasons you state in your card, you are allowing only one weekend a month for family visits, and to please set up visit times with you, in advance, so you can plan ahead. Give your reasons lovingly and let them know that of course you love seeing them, but on YOUR terms and at their expense. I hope setting your boundaries works for you. We all need to do that and it is very hard when it concerns family and friends. I currently have friends (have known her since the 7th grade!)... who usually call on their way to our place to tell us they are on their way and they are staying for two weeks! I need to set some boundaries with them. They have an RV and they park it at a park nearby, but it's still a chaotic rush of visits and eating out, and cooking in, and going shopping, etc. which is all very tiring to me and I don't like having to do it for two weeks straight, when I didn't even plan it! Your blog post struck a real chord with me!

  5. I really love this and I will keep it in mind for sure. I might send out some Valentine's Day cards too.

  6. After reading your post and then Marilyn's comment, I have to admit I'm very surprised to hear that you both have friends and family who basically invite themselves and then don't even contribute! I can't imagine! In any case, you're on the right track Valerie.


  7. I love the idea of sending out Valentine cards and New Year cards too actually. I did this one year but wasn't organised enough to keep it up. It's such a simple way of letting people know you care! Well done for making the effort when life is so busy! Nikki x

  8. Yes! You gotta do what works best for you. Otherwise, things will feel like a chore or an obligation and not something you're doing because you WANT to!

    Great post <3

  9. It sounds like you have a good plan for the new year, Valerie. I think setting boundaries will help you and your family out so very much. We all need to do that in our lives, and I appreciate you writing your post with reminders. I hope that 2017 will be a Happy New Year for you and your family.

  10. I experienced the same thing in my first marriage, but it was always at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hosting, paying for food and cleaning up after people who do not want to contribute wears you down after a actually makes you dread the holidays and that is no good for anyone. It is better that you set some boundaries now and save your relationships and your sanity. Happy New Year Valerie :)

  11. Your plan for the new year sounds great. I decorate for every month because I like to. This month I have snowmen and snow flakes out. Have a blessed day and a wonderful and happy New Year. Madeline

  12. I'm always a little behind but will try harder this year! I did just buy Valentines for my daughters class so that's a start. I was a little disappointed that the calendars were sold out at the dollar store guess I procrastinated to long there but I did mail out cards early. Im so wishy washy with everything I need to get better! I hope my new planner will help with that.

  13. I love the idea of sending out Valentine's Day cards. It's so special and somewhat unexpected!

    Beth ||

  14. I've never had the problem of people popping in on regular, unannounced visits. I can imagine how frustrating AND expensive that can get. Of course it means that you are dearly loved, but as you say, boundaries are needed. Love and respect go hand in hand.

  15. Those are definitely good questions to ask yourself. And sending out Valentine's Day Cards actually sounds like a pretty good idea. Happy New Year! :)

  16. Valentine's Day cards are such a cute idea! I really like it. I know I love receiving and sending Christmas cards so I would probably love to receive a Valentine's Day card.

  17. We rarely sends Valentine's Day cards, but thsi coming days am in search for cards for the Chinese New Year, another important new year for us Asians. This year will be spectacular and more wishes will overflow the house again. Not stressful at all because its fun.:)

  18. Haha. It sounds like your house has a lot going on all the time. It is good to work on things ahead of the game if possible. I do like how you kind of “categorize” things to make it seem less stressful than it truly is. My mother gets on me year after year about sending Christmas cards. It’s like why send them? When I get them they don’t even make it to the mantel. I’d rather pick up the phone and have a meaningful conversation - - something I enjoy and get something out of it!

  19. I love New Year - not because i love to make resolutions but it gives everyone the chance at starting over, starting clean and growing. I love it. I am ready for a great NEW YEAR!! Happy 2017!!!

  20. Happy New Year! I have been trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself for the new year. I want to start relaxing more and working smarter and not harder.

    Isaly Holland |

  21. Hppy new year! I have to admit that my new was so great! I'm focusing now to be healthy.

  22. Those are great questions to ask ourselves. Life is too short to do things that don't add up--be it good for yourself, the world, and people who appreciate your efforts. Kudos to you for hosting all those people, though I agree, you deserve a break!

  23. You are right! We don't have to do things if we don't enjoy it. A new year started so it is the moment to reconsider some things in our life. Yours is a good example and you have asked good questions. Thanks

  24. Loved this post! I'm always asking myself those questions and it often stresses me out like crazy

  25. Sometimes it is tough to sit back and evaulate your life and figure out what needs to be cut in order to grant yourself a little glimpse of sanity. While I love to entertain and have people over, I can't imagine having people basically move in and not contribute to the expense. That would hurt after a while! Here's to a 2017 for YOU!

  26. This is such a very insightful post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. True enough, you're not alone on this one. I often get those kinds of feelings too and it really helps to step back and let some things go.

  27. I am learning more this year to get rid of doing the things that don't bring me joy. For years, I have done for everyone even if I dreaded it, but in 2017, I am changing that up. Christmas cards? Don't do them. Nursery at church or kids church? Don't do them. It's all about doing what brings you joy these days.

  28. These are really wonderful guidelines to live by, Valerie. I learned a long while ago (or at least learned better than before) how to say no or limit things. I still take on too much but I'm doing far better than I ever did before. I love your idea of Valentines - I have a friend who does that and it's just such a joy to open the box and find one! I am making a rule to address Christmas cards in the early fall. I usually have them by then. Well, especially the overseas. Some of those people are STILL getting them!

  29. I loved reading this, I sometimes feel like I am the only one that doesn't have my s**t together! Normally around christmas time I am so organised and have everything done with time for some baking but this year I am working in a care home, doing crazy shifts and haven't even had time to think about christmas and I felt like the only one when driving home past all the neighbours outside decorations and into my dark cheerless house lol


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