A Christmas Wish | Daily News

A Christmas Wish

I have never written a letter or sent an email to Santa. Have you? But I know, like me, you might be constantly sending a few imaginary emails to Santa asking for various impossible gifts now that it’s time for him to pay us a visit. If you ask me what I would like for this Christmas I would say all I want is to sit down in a cosy corner with Dostoevsky’s Brother’s Karamazov, a good cup of tea, and an uninterrupted hour. That shouldn’t be an impossible gift for Santa to give me, should it?

But looks like Santa won’t find it so easy to grant me this wish. I can’t even remember the last time I had such a luxury. Could it be that this sounds familiar to you as well? Do you long for time and a place to do some writing? Are you an artist deep inside you with no time to pursue your dream? Do you love to relax by building model boats, doing cross-stitch cushion covers, or patchwork quilts? Or, every once in a while do you just like to sit back and dream or contemplate about the moon and the stars and how insignificant you are in this whole universe?

If the answers are yes, it’s important that you schedule some ‘me time’ for yourself every day. As Fawne Hansen says in her article ‘Why You Should Schedule Some ‘Me Time’ Every Day,’ the most important reason for this is that, taking some ‘me time’ can help you avoid irritability and enable you to control your emotions. If you live with your family, or even a pet, they may not understand your need to take ‘me time’ but they certainly will appreciate the way your mood has improved. Both the people who are close to you and the people you work with, will appreciate that you have greater stamina and better ability to concentrate. Moreover, the lack of time to yourself can cause you to build up resentments that can harm both you and your relationships. When you spend all your time filling other people’s cups, it’s likely yours will run empty. Sometimes, especially when we’re tired, we may become angry about giving so much.

But, alas, most of the time we minimize our need for “me” time by thinking about how we are denying attention to other things that are important to us, such as our family, our friends, our gardening time, tidying the house time or whatever else. We feel selfish taking the needed time out when there’s so much left to do. However, if you run yourself into the ground you are not going to be much help to anyone, and you won’t be able to be fully engaged in your activities anyway. Your health is vital, and if you think these obligations can’t succeed without you, think of what might happen if you become sick and have to set them aside for a longer amount of time. You need a little time to recharge your batteries.

So, if your batteries seem to be sending the alert indicating its time to slow down, if all your days seem hectic and out of control, why not create a private retreat where you can go to unwind, read, and take sanctuary from outside intrusions? Without adding on to your house, if you look carefully you can definitely find a special spot that is yours alone.

And, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to escape from your busy life without going to Bintanne, the Bahamas or Hawaii.

While its true that older homes, like planter’s bungalows in the tea estates, have nooks and crannies in places like large cupboards in the guest bedroom that is a great place to hide from the outside world, if you are living in a modern home, such a place might be non-existent. Still, do look around your home.

You are sure to find a quiet corner of a bedroom or study... Some place where you won’t be interrupted by a telephone ringing or a computer announcing that you have a message.

The good news is this private space doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be furnished with your favorite things. If you long for a spot to curl up with a book, you must have a good reading light, a comfortable chair and a place to set a chilly thambili or cozy cup of tea. Experts, however, say, you have to be very careful about where you place a comfortable chair.

If you must, position it with the back of the chair to the middle of the room so that you can look out a window. Spend some time getting the view just right and make sure what you see is soothing and not distracting. Place a small table next to the comfortable chair, one that is just big enough for a book, a cup, and a lamp. Don’t be tempted to put anything else on the table. You don’t want anything to distract you! But, if you have a collection of books that give you a sense of comfort find a place for the most treasured ones near your reading nook. Favorite novels or poetry can inspire you to continue on your quest for even more. When you settle down to read, you will be able to glance over to the shelves, think of when you enjoyed reading those special books, and anticipate a wonderful experience with your most current volume.

Could it be that a cross-stitch cushion cover from your grandmother is one of your most prized possessions? Does it help bring back wonderful memories of your time together? If so, don’t put it away in a closet so it won’t spoil! Keep it out, place it over your favorite reading chair, so that those special memories are right at hand every time you glance into your corner. And think of ways that you can create new memories with it.

Be sure to remove anything from your chosen space that does not enrich the area.

There’s nothing so disturbing as having clutter, extra papers, or trash. It is important that you get rid of anything and everything that does not contribute to the serenity and calm of the area. Books should be arranged neatly, papers should have a place, accessories should be added sparingly. The only things left in your private retreat should be functional and practical and contribute to your sense of well-being.

When everything is in place, your personal retreat will be ready for you. It will be the place you gravitate to when you want to rest, want to indulge yourself, want to pursue your special interests, or just get away from it all.

Remember not to feel decadent or wasteful when you escape to your private area, though. Instead, be grateful that you recognize the importance of taking some time to reinvigorate yourself.

Appreciate your time alone. Get reinforced mentally, physically, and emotionally. Your life will be richer for it and those around you will recognize the change in your attitude and personality

If you don’t have a special space already, give yourself this gift come Christmas. When you have everything just right, close the door, turn off the phone, put on some soothing instrumental music, and read to your heart’s content. And don’t be surprised if you doze off.

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