Keeping It Slow This Holiday With Christine Hohlbaum!INTERVIEWS | Nirasha Jaganath | December 9, 2009 at 8:34 pm
It would be difficult to have images of the holidays without them including a crazed frenzy. Stress seems synonymous with the season so I thought I would ask Christine Hohlbaum, the author of the Power Of Slow for some ideas to help us through. I know Christine from way back when I reviewed one of my favorite books “SAHM: I am” and I knew she would be perfect for the challenge.
A little about Christine
Christine Louise Hohlbaum is an American author of several books, including The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to SaveTime in Our 24/7 World. She works as a PR consultant for various international companies and lives near Munich, Germany with her husband and two children. Occasionally, she appears in TV shows and feature films, playing smaller roles to satisfy her inner thespian. Writing and acting are her passion. Her biggest dream is to change the world through words.
Relatives have a way to stress you out, even well meaning ones. Since parties and the holidays bring you in closer contact, how do you minimize the impact?
Establish boundaries. If you know you need room to breathe after just two hours with your relatives, set up an outdoor activity such as a walk or a snowball fight to get a change of scene. Manage people’s expectations ahead of time, whether it is about gift giving or how long you’ll stay. Create a plan and let family members know beforehand.
Cooking is another area. Torn between preparing the best meal and live up to expectations how do you keep it together?
You don’t need to be Julia Childs to enjoy a family meal together. Make it a family occasion by delegating tasks to all the family members. There’s no shame in having a potluck holiday meal. Besides you know your Aunt Myrtle is just dying to show off her pies again this year. So let her. You’ll be glad to hand off the task and she’ll be glad to gloat for another year!
How do you deal with the pressure to keep all traditions alive?
Traditions are meant to add meaning to our lives. When they only add stress, it’s time to rethink them. While having all your kids sleep in one room might have made sense as toddlers, it may be time to move on now that they are teens. You needn’t force traditions to remain the same for the sake of nostalgia. Sometimes just looking back on them is heart-warming in itself.
How do you manage the juggling of doing everything yourself while taking care of yourself too?
The power of slow encourages you to establish a positive relationship with time. If you live in a time abundant reality, you will recognize there is enough time to do what is truly important. Everything else falls away.
Repeat after me. You are not alone. The people who live in your house are meant to help, not hinder. You are not a service provider, but a person with limitations. Honor them, then pass off (or pass on) the rest.