Let's start this Monday off right... with one of my pet peeves. It absolutely drives me nuts when people make general statements like, "slow down." Just zip it, okay.

This week is what I affectionately refer to as "HELL WEEK." It's the last week before all the Christmas gifts must be purchased and wrapped; the week before all the food must be made; the week before we are expected to be at everyone's house to enjoy their big festivities. This is my actual spare bedroom right now. It's a mess. I own it. It's the MOST WONDERFUL AND BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR!

Ash

A couple weeks ago, I had the Today Show on while I was working at home. It came into the third hour with Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb. Their big topic of the day was to slow down. Take time for yourself. Don't let the world swallow you up. I'm sorry but this aggravates me on so so so so many levels. Let's discuss.

1. I don't need a random TV personality OR ANYONE ELSE me telling me what I'm doing wrong in my life. Essentially, they are giving out a blanket statement that their viewers are making incorrect decisions with their time. And really anyone who tells me to slow down obviously has no idea what my day consists of, nor do they care to know. This recent trend of self-appointed life coaches informing whoever will listen that they are too busy is toxic and needs to stop. Because the end result is that I can't just throw down all my to-dos and say, "Screw it!" So, I'm busy AND I feel guilty for not managing my time as well as they think I should.

2. What would you like for me to drop to become "less busy"? Should I drop my grocery shopping and cooking for my family? Maybe cleaning the house or doing homework with my daughter. Should I skip birthday parties, buying Christmas gifts, wrapping the gifts, feeding the dogs, picking up medications, volunteering, or going to work? I beg you - please tell me what's the least important thing on this list so I can get some ME time...

3. It doesn't just go away. Let's say on the off hand that I do skip something like... cleaning house. Guess what, it's right there after I take that luxurious bubble bath that I just took in a dirty, disgusting tub that was surrounded by toys. Oh and want shampoo? I am on strike - didn't buy any. I needed me time.

4. No one I know hasn't had time to binge-watch a show recently. Right now, I'm on Gilmore Girls. My daughter and I watched three episodes, The Nutcracker, and some lame-o Netflix Christmas movie Friday night. Clearly, I'm uber-busy but not that busy. And most people aren't. You choose your own balance - don't let someone tell you how to handle your life.

5. There's absolutely NOTHING WRONG with being busy. There, I said it. People who are not busy reap the consequences of being stagnant. Every decision about my busyness has come directly from me. I choose to make dinner for my family because I want to make them healthy meals and I am moving around in the process. I choose to involve my child in sports and the arts because it gets her moving and enhances her mind and body. If you want to get down to it, I chose to get married and have kids. I could very easily have decided to live alone and my responsibilities would be minimal. But each one of these things in my life comes with responsibilities that I must accomplish. The price we pay is our time. And, that is okay.

The only advice I have to give to anyone who is on the super-busy side of busy is to make sure you have things into perspective. (I know, I know. Here's me being an uninvited life coach.) But, the advice actually came from my step-son. He put things into perspective for me once when I was frustrated because my house was a mess and I was comparing it a stay-at-home mom's incredibly clean house. He said very nonchalantly (probably while staring at his phone), "Well ya hers is cleaner. She has an extra 40 hours a week to clean it. You do the best you can." I always remember his 18-year-old words when I feel frustrated. And when I feel overwhelmed with EVERYTHING I have to get done I remember what Dory said. "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming." You can and will get done what you need to get done. You are doing the best you can.

That was it. I AM doing the best I can and I won't let anyone make me feel guilty for being busy. Or guilty for the outcomes to be less than perfect. Or guilty... for anything. They can mind their own business because more times than not, your grass is actually greener.

So Jenna and Hoda, I'm sure it must be fantastic to have nannies and house cleaners and personal drivers to ensure that you get your "me time." But for the real worlders out here, I'm here to tell you that you are doing great. You know yourself and your schedule. You know your balance. You are getting it done. And it's going to be great. :)