Sometimes it takes an expected upshot in stress to question whether you’re living the way you want.

Right now, I should be stressing over Christmas 🎄. I should be wondering what presents 🎁 I’m going to get people and whether they’re going to like it. Is it nice enough? Is it the right color💙📗🍎🌻?

But I’m not doing any of that. I haven’t bought a present yet. And our little plastic tree is still tucked away.

We’ve been a bit busy stressing over whether the Thomas fire 🔥 is going to engulf our home. It’s a long ways off, but it’s been raging for 13 days and it keeps getting a tiny bit closer.

Some days, it looks like the fire line will hold, and I can go back to relaxing and thinking about real life.

Other days, it rages forward, and I spurt into emergency mode.

It’s a tough way to live never knowing.

Recently, I got upset about having to pack up my things, just in case. And I stopped and asked myself “what do I really want?” 🤔

I probably want what lots of people do. I want to be happy. I want to be successful. I want to bloody enjoy life and not have to wonder if I’ll have a home to get back to in the new year.

But stress has the power to manipulate you into doing the zaniest things. I convinced myself that during stress, it’s impossible to have all these things. I can relax and have fun AFTER this fire is done.

And that’s crazy because at the rate the fire is going, it might get here by Christmas….maybe. I’ll be a frazzled, haggard mess by then. So, this idea just plain sucks. 👎

Ideally, I’d like to live without stress, but I’m not there yet, and you probably aren’t either. So, I have a better idea 💡.

Even during stress, especially during stress, take care of yourself, and give yourself what you most need.

Here’s my new way of approaching life in the next week or two. I’m taking steps to be fire-prepared AND to enjoy my life. Because I get to choose how I want to live it.

Whether you’re stressing about holidays, your work schedule, fires, or things not going the way you want, have a ponder on this.

What’s important to you right now❓

And mostly, are you making it the most important thing right now?

I wasn’t. My joy and desire to be with others were overtaken by whether my stuff was going to be burnt up. It’s not how I want to live.

What about you? How do you want to live?

Feature photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash