It's been a while since I wrote.
Hopefully by now you have a sense for how much a of property nerd I am and how much I love working with buyers to get them great property outcomes.
This one's a bit of a personal post.
I find Christmas with my family very challenging.
Don't get me wrong: I love my family. I do.
But there's lots of unresolved baggage there and it's complicated.
Most years there's a drama of some kind or another before we even get to the day itself.....someone is put out by the day/time, someone has cracked the shits with another person in the weeks before, someone's needs aren't met......aka damage control central.
Like clockwork at this time of year I can feel my anxiety rising the closer we get to THE BIG DAY.
I know I am not the only one in this camp.
From the benefit of an outsiders' vantage point, I've always envied those families who (appear to) have that Brady Bunch vibe going on.
I know the reality is likely much different from the inside and, as I get older, I learn time and again to never assume anything about anyone else's family.
What is it about Christmas then?
For me it's the pressure of playing happy families.
I'm not a great actor and it feels inauthentic to fake it. But I have to (fake it) for the sake of others. For my treasured mum and also for the kids. And that's draining.
So here's my tips for surviving.
1) Set some boundaries around the things you find triggering.
If it's who hosts/cooks/brings who, then stand firm on the things that you feel strongly about and let everything else go. You'll find most things aren't actually as important as you first thought.
If it's the entertaining and cooking that stresses you out, then consider outsourcing, divvying up the jobs or starting early with your prep and freezing what you can.
If you're the host and feeling anxious that your home isn't presentable, then either a) lower your standards or b) organiser a cleaner/gardener to blitz through ahead of your event. Trust me, it will be money well spent.
2) Focus on what you DO love about this time of year.
I love entertaining in our beautiful home. I love drinking Champagne. I love menu planning. I love decorating. I love dressing up.
Most of all I love doing all the above when it's connected to spending time with our "chosen family", our dear collection of beautiful friends. So I include a lot of these events.
To all those who read something of themselves in this: you've got this.
Take care of yourselves this season.