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Xmas blog on Catching Fireworks website

Yep - when I put together an A to Z of coaching blog topics for the year, I didn’t really think it through!  However, when you least expect it, something turns up which makes it all work.  Instead of having to rack my brains for a blog on xylophones, x-ray or xenophobia, I had a conversation with a freelance colleague just yesterday about Xmas* and the lessons we can learn from it.

As a freelancer, with a freelancer husband, she was talking about the dilemma of having to work for some of the time during the Xmas/New Year period, whilst also wanting to give their young children a great Xmas break.  This is a situation which many people find themselves in.  

We talked through all the possible logistical options, for example: 
  • deciding in advance which days were going to be their ‘working’ days and which ‘holiday’ days with their children; 
  • agreeing with two sets of grandparents, very eager to babysit, when they would take the children on treat days; 
  • setting up one play date in their home in exchange for their children going to other childrens‘ play dates; 
  • finding out what activities there are in their local area;
  • each parent having a special day with the children, whilst the other one worked, etc.

My colleague, already excited about getting Xmas handled, had a real lightbulb moment when she realised she could actually think like this all the time.  She could plan ahead, to try and make her work and childcare balance better, giving both her and her children a better experience.  And even those of us without children can use forward planning to make sure we make the best use of our Xmas time - and any other time for that matter.  (Obviously, life is never straightforward and something will often come along and throw things into disarray, but at least a good chunk of your planning will turn out as you expect.)

The second lesson to take away is that if you have identified a ‘work’ day and a ‘play’ day, then make sure you enter into it fully.  Don’t spend your work day feeling guilty about (in this case) not being with your children.  And definitely don’t spend the play day feeling guilty that you should be doing working.  Be mindful, savour what you are doing and do it wholeheartedly.

And you've still got 6 weeks to plan your Xmas!

(*I don’t usually use the Xmas spelling, but if it is good enough for Lord Byron in 1811, it’s good enough for me!  Letter 181 “I thank you for your letters and am always glad to hear from you, but if you won't come here before Xmas, I very much fear we shall not meet here at all, for I shall be off somewhere or other very soon out of this land of Paper credit (or rather no credit at all, for every body seems on the high road to Bankruptcy), and if I quit it again I shall not be back in a hurry.”  Letter to Augusta Leigh 9th Sep 1811) 

If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you, check out how we could work together and get in touch.

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