Hissy Fit - December 2017

Give Yourself the Present: Now That's the Real Present


As December 25 races toward us faster than the Polar Express, lists seem to multiply and mound with things to buy, things to bake, things to decorate, things to mail, things to wrap and things to attend. I know it all needs to get done, and let me guess, you’re the only one who can do it…all. So instead of trying to convince you to delegate a few tasks—you are not one of the eight maids a milking for heaven’s sake— I am going to add another to-do list onto your to-do pile. Why? Because if it is on the list, I know you will do it, just so you can cross it off.

I’m not going to reveal the list to you yet. First I want to tell you about a trip I took recently. I left my home on Friday, November 10 and didn’t return until Sunday, November 19. That’s 10—count them—days! What in the world was so important that I had to be gone for 10 days? Me.

I only planned this 10-day escape about two-weeks prior to leaving. It wasn’t even my idea. And let me tell you, the entire week leading up to leaving, I had on my to-do list: Cancel trip. Why? I had too much to do; People were mad at me for going; I didn’t have time. There were sales to wrap up, employees to pay, phone calls to answer, deadlines to face, dogs to take care of. I needed to finish moving and unpacking boxes. The house was a wreck. We were living between two houses, and I didn’t even have a bed, yet.

I left town for 10 days, anyway.

Oh, I got judged, questioned and yelled at. I was tarred and feathered with guilt. I was berated and accused of not caring. I was asked, “Why would you stay that long?” And after much back and forth between my brain and my heart, I did it anyway. I went away for 10 solid days, absolutely alone, with no agenda. Why?

My body was yelling even louder, and I knew it was serious. It was so adamant it recruited my shoulders, knees, stomach, neck and back to yell at me, too. This past year of devastation has taken its toll on me both outwardly and inwardly. I handled everything that was thrown at me, but I did nothing to rebuild me. This 10-day get-a-way is the beginning of my reconstruction.

The first part of healing from any thing is to remove what’s causing the dis-ease. For me that was stress and overwhelm. I would wake in the middle of my night, wearing my shoulders like earrings. There were all kind of aches and pains and bodily limitations I had never experienced before. I felt old and decrepit.  

I set off for Lakeview at Fontana, my favorite rustic, boutique mountain-spa get-a-way to literally heal. There, my days were filled with morning gentle yoga, hot stone massage, mountainous walks and large glasses of iced mountain water. I took an extra long, sunset tub soak in an outdoor cabana located up the mountain, open to the surrounding woods, with a view of the lake far below and mountain tops in the distance. I went to bed early and awoke early. I sipped coffee and ate Greek yogurt with honey, homemade granola, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. By day four, my body started to thank me. Its yell quieted to a respectable conversational tone. I felt better; I breathed deeper; my shoulders receded. My healing received a big boost, making me ready to return home with a renewed commitment of taking care of myself.

The lesson: Rest is not a luxury; it is a necessity. If I don’t take care of me, then I certainly cannot care for others…and neither can you. No one can pour from an empty cup, which brings me to the to-do list I’m going to give you. Before you read what’s on this list, pinky promise you will take this list as serious as the others. Here it is:

The Be (not buy) Present List:

1) Listen to your body and oblige. If you’re tired, rest. If you’re full, stop eating. If you’ve had it, temporarily retreat under your covers.

2) Start at least 3 mornings per week with a positive quote or devotion. Think about what it means to you and if it moves you.

3) Take some time (preferably more than 10 minutes) every day to do nothing—no phone, computer, tablet or television. Not even the book you’re reading. Use this time to breathe, think and clear your mind. (This increases your chances of knowing where your car keys are and why you walked into a room.)

4) Gather your significant other, children, friends and/or extended family to drink hot chocolate or a glass of wine and truly talk. Tell stories of memories that are important to you. Talk about those who have passed so the younger ones know how special they were. Learn something new about those you think you already know. Let the children tell stories, too. Do NOT check your cell phone. You will be surrounded by every one you need. Be sure to listen fully.

5) Comb through your to-do lists and pare it down. Decipher what really needs to be done, and what falls into the category of “just trying to impress others.” Leave only the tasks that fill your heart and soul.

6) Turn off all the lights except the Christmas tree and decorations. Sit in a place where you can enjoy the beauty of your tree, and let your thoughts get lost in the twinkle of the lights. Play soft Christmas music, if you wish.

7) Laugh. Every. Single. Day.

8) Be grateful. Your to-do lists are full because you have a home to decorate, you get to decorate because you have money to buy decorations, and you get to buy gifts because you are blessed to have friends and family to share the holidays with. Blessings abound...all you have to do is look for them.

9) Be present and take care of you. It’s the best gift you’ll receive all season long and I promise, it will look and feel great on you!

To book your peaceful get-a-way at Lakeview at Fontana log onto It is heaven on earth.