Panic or Peace

peace“Tis the season” and I found myself today having to make the conscious decision to chose peace over panic.

Usually on the days just before Christmas I begin to fall into panic mode.  I get a little cranky and I have to make lists so I don’t forget anything or anyone.

The gift list is usually not as big as I would like it to be.  Oh how I would love to spend money on gifts for my family and all of my friends.  There are so many who give me so much of themselves each year and it would be such fun to go shopping to find something perfect for them.  My family would be drowned in gifts if I had money but it would be things that are important to them and things that would cause great memories to happen.  Alas, the friends will likely have to settle for my sincere greeting of love and thanks and my family will get things which are practical and necessary.

The other list, the one with the tasks I have to complete before Christmas,   is the one I would like to shorten.  It has things on it like strip the kitchen floor, laundry, vacuum, dust everything in sight, tidy, make cranberry tea, practice songs for church, wrap the gifts, visit Aunt Jane.  I know something will have to go.  Some things already have been sacrificed to the nasty sore back which slowed me down badly.  The Christmas cards didn’t get done.  Perhaps they will get notes in the New Year.

When I looked for synonyms for panic I found, dismay, rush, consternation, confusion, alarm, stampede, frenzy and dread.  These are not the words which are to be symbols of this season but for many they are the very description of their days.

This year I avoided a great deal of the frenzy by spending a little more money but staying home to shop in small town Canada rather than going to the city malls. Not only was it less hectic in the local stores but it was nice to go in and be able to say, “Do you know if my daughter has been looking at anything in particular?”  You can’t say that in the city and have them pull out an item they know she likes.  What a treat.

As I said, this sore back has forced me to do some rethink on the panic.  There are some things I simply cannot do.  I even had a doctor tell me I couldn’t vacuum or do any sort of bending and twisting until this disk settles down.  I laughed of course because I don’t know who she thinks is going to vacuum but it made me take some stock of the list and try to begin thinking about what is really important.

I found myself apologizing a couple of times for my crankiness today.  It’s hard to be kind when your head is full of must do’s and your body says you can’t do.

Peace has to be a decision in this season which is supposed to represent the peace that passes understanding.  Synonyms for peace are: accord, friendship, love, reconciliation, unity.  Those are the words which truly represent the season.

May you measure the next three days by the later rather than the former.  If it is not bringing you peace perhaps it can be ignored.

I know that making cranberry tea for Riley, having the table set with Grandma’s dishes, practicing my Christmas music for Thursday and wrapping presents for the tree will bring me joy and peace so those things will be done.  All the rest will have to give way to the time and energy I have to give them.  If the house is tidy but not spotless that will just have to be the way it is.






About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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3 Responses to Panic or Peace

  1. Kim Zeien says:

    Thanks Peggy for a great post. I am really enjoying your “life” experience’s. I look forward to the next one. You have inspired me in my journey of wellness. When I have been down so far down you were a constant present. Encouraging me when times were hard and sometimes unbearable. Thank You . Merry Christmas Kim Z.

  2. I learned years ago to choose peace. I’ve let go of so many stressful and expensive rituals that used to make me unhappy. Peace and joy! That’s my Chistmas motto now! Merry Christmas!

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