My inner monsters are those characteristics about myself that I don’t like very much. These are traits that I’ve worked hard at over the years to minimize; but occasionally one will rear its ugly head.

Some of these character defects are: anger, pride, procrastination, over-committing, perfectionist, people pleasing and the list goes on and on. Discussing this with friends recently, one of them commented that these defects never go away; they just get watered down. And I whole-heartedly agree.

What keeps my inner monsters watered down are the tools I’ve picked up over the years.

I have learned to schedule myself and activities so that I’m moving forward but not to the point of exhaustion.
Exercise is a great stress reliever that helps across so many different aspects of my life.
I’ve learned to meditate to quiet my inner voice and allow other thoughts to enter my mind.
Talking about my inner monsters with others, listening to their suggestions and learning to respond differently.

What I’m finding difficult is keeping my inner monsters in check during the holidays. For the past three years I have had girlfriends over for a Cookie Exchange on the weekend. In November I was looking at my December calendar and realized there is no possible way to schedule the Cookie Exchange; unless I wedged it between other commitments.

Starting last week, I had girlfriends inquiring when I was scheduling the event this year. I’m struggling big time with people pleasing and over-committing myself. I finally came to the conclusion that I really need to stick to my guns and not commit.

That worked great until I realized I had accidentally double-booked an activity on my December weekend calendar. Magically an entire afternoon opened up. My thoughts immediately went to scheduling the Cookie Exchange in the spot I just freed up. Sharing my thoughts with my father; he simply said, asked ‘When are you planning on enjoying the holidays?’

I needed that reality check; he was right. I need time for me and my daughter to enjoy the holidays; I never scheduled for THAT in my calendar. Let alone shop for Christmas, or put up my tree!

I was still torn on the Cookie Exchange because I do enjoy the time with my girlfriends. And the realization came to me that the Cookie Exchange really isn’t about the cookies. It is all about a great group of friends enjoying each other’s company. That is what I’m really missing.

So, I’m now gazing at my wide-open January calendar thinking of hosting an afternoon tea with my girlfriends. Much, Much better idea and use of my time.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson is a professional woman who understands the challenges of balancing work, home, love and carving time out for you. Her website is filled with blogs, articles and newsletters written specifically for women. To gain access to a free gift designed exclusively for professional women, visit her website at: