Holiday Prep?

I’ve been under a pretty tight deadline for my next three books, and as a result I’ve had to prioritize my non-writing world. I’ve found as I’ve gotten older I tend to live with more purpose, in other words, things I do or don’t do are things I’ve decided to do or not do, as opposed to simply reacting, or overreacting to life events.

Some things I refuse to set aside are time with my kids, walking the dogs, some time to myself with friends, and sleep.

Parts of my life that end up suffering are my workouts and hygiene. Showering, for example, has become an every other day occurrence as opposed to every day. Oddly enough, I make that decision not to shower because it seems like a waste of twenty minutes during which I could be doing something essential. And since I don’t see the point in changing from pjs into sweats, I’m not sure I’ve gotten out of my pjs more than twice this last week. Yes, I do take the dogs to the dog park in said pjs.

Things I give up almost entirely are haircuts, an organized life and a clean house. I’ve found I can get by without all of these things for extended periods of time. I get the bare minimum done, and bare minimum to me means paying the bills, vacuuming, doing dishes and cleaning toilets. The rest is all superfluous.

That is, until the holidays roll around and I’m faced with a whole lotta family coming to MY house to celebrate. That’s the point at which superflous turns into vital.

So I spent some time this past weekend cleaning and I couldn’t believe the layer upon layer of dust that had accumulated on things. Ick. I had conveniently not noticed how non-shiny everything had gotten inside my house. Since I do like clean surroundings, I couldn’t help but wonder if the sludge may very well being weighing me down in some small way. Hanging over my head and stopping the flow of creativity.

I think there might be something to this. How do we know when the scales have tipped in our lives and our non-essentials have become essential?

What are the non-negotiables in your life? What to you give up at the drop of a hat?

Do the holidays rolling around throw you in a cleaning tizzy? Or are you one of those uber-prepared entertainers?

Now I’m going to run off and take a shower …



About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at
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