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Don't be "DONE" in December!


This has been a heck of December as Activities Director at the retirement community where I work. This year I was more involved in the planning of the staff's holiday party than I have been in the past and I also escorted a group on a three-day trip at the beginning of the month. Between those two events and the usual Christmas chaos that takes place on the calendar, I fell behind very quickly. There were days when I came home and told my husband that I was done! Done, as in, not able to do one more thing! Done, as in, not interested in another December in my current job position. Just done!

Well, with a few good nights sleep, a paycheck that reflects all my hard work and lot of compliments from longtime residents and new to the community resident, I feel recharged. I have always been someone who has to learn lessons the hard way, and this month's experiences was no different. This is what I've learned this time.

I would be much happier in December if I would organize myself better and did not take a full week to decorate the community. I came to the realization that, even though I take a lot of pride in doing it, that I can no longer physically do it by myself. No one has ever expected me to do it alone. Staff and residents have always asked to help me. I have been selfish and kept it all to myself to do - with the exception of one tree, and with one resident's help, the past few years. I also believe that decorating the community is a gift to those who live in the community, and that they should not be putting their gift together..... so that is why I don't get more residents involved.

What I learned from working with the one resident is that I can bring out what I'd like to see on the tree and I can still put my own preference, style, etc. out into the community. After all, I am the one who buys all the decorations. I also have come to learn that I can"adjust" something if it is not the way I had envisioned it or that I might like it some one else way.

They say that if you have a goal that it is not really a goal until you have written it down or shared it with someone else. It makes you more accountable. So, I've written it down: I will share the job of decorating the community with my co-workers. And here is my simple plan. I will schedule one say at the beginning of December when everyone can help. I will have each area's decorations brought to that area - with only items that I'd like to use, and assign each person to an area. 

I really think that doing this will help our management team feel more united at this time of the year, and that together we will take pride in our community. It will be wonderful next year to be able to enjoy the holidays without as much stress. I can not wait until December next year!! I will be ready.
I encourage you to look at how you can lighten your load and make a plan. Then execute it!!

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