Normally (what is normal?), this time (what is time?) of year (2020, sheesh), I’m thinking, writing, and speaking about wrapping up the year, reflecting on the ride, enjoying the holidays, and planning for the year to come, but I have to admit, I am pretty uninspired. In part because I know much isn’t going to change in how we are living as the calendar flips, and that’s a bummer. . Also, I feel tired. At first, I couldn’t figure it out, because I really do make it a point to get enough rest (not perfect, but I try!), but then I realized, “Right, it’s 2020!” And I think I am feeling the compounded effects of a year that has been too much. It hasn’t necessarily been all bad, there’s been good stuff for sure, but it’s definitely been intense, and I think the cumulative effects are bearing down now that it’s December, chilly, and the holidays are looking somewhat glum. Do you feel that too? . Something about me: I’m a recovering pleaser and over-committer. The by-product of this behavior was years of opportunities to experience resentment and disappointment. YUCK. I have worked for ages on my tendency to say yes to too much, and the hard work has definitely been worth it. But tendencies and old habits sneak in, especially around the holidays. My clients struggle with this too, and so I have spent many a holiday season hearing about pressures and resentments, and how the holidays are fun for everyone else, yet lousy and exhausting for them. . Nobody has time or bandwidth for this in the best of years, and 2020 is not the best of years. . Here’s my December wish for you: please allow yourself permission to do less. Permission to say no. Permission to opt out. Take your to-do list and slash it. Take your gift list and simplify (so what if you give the same gift to several people? Gift cards are your 2020 holiday friends!). Take a menu and pare way way down. And please say no to more things than you say yes to, keep space in your calendar, even between the social connections. Even the fun ones can ultimately be exhausting. I know it’s not easy, but please be as kind as possible to yourself, starting with turning down the pressure this holiday season. And I mean, way down. Unusual years call for atypical actions. And who knows, maybe some new, cool, more streamlined traditions will emerge as a result of turning down the volume. Let me know how it goes. . If this sounds impossible, and you want some more specific tips, please put a comment and just ask. .