‘Tis the season for curling up in a ball of overwhelming social anxiety, mounting credit card debt and complete exhaustion. For real, who is thriving right now?

I want to believe this Grinchy mood is brought on by the fact that I am a full-time employee and a full-time student. This time of year is always hard when finals lead immediately into the holiday party season, with nary a moment’s rest in between. And honestly, I need more than a moment anyway.

After months of poring over textbooks every night and writing papers every weekend, I was thrilled to submit my finals. “I will be able to enjoy life again! I will read a book for fun, I will clean my house, I will see all my friends and spend quality time catching up with them!” I had big plans, guys. And then life was all, “LOL, no.”

Part of it is my fault. Without the (legitimate) excuse of schoolwork to keep me from socializing, I feel compelled to say yes to everything. I end up running from work to stand in line to see Santa with my niece, to the Christmas market with friends, to a birthday party, and the next day, the cycle repeats.

There are parties, concerts, parades and more parties to attend. There are themes and gifts and potlucks to consider. Who can keep up with it all? I’ve been driving around with a change of clothes and a bottle of wine in my car for social obligations I may have forgotten about. My fun vacation book is still sitting on the holds shelf at the library. And worst of all, sleep is currently more elusive than it was at the height of the semester.

But every once in a while, I reevaluate. My biggest problem in the world is that I have too many friends and loved ones who want to spend time with me. There are too many cookies to eat, wine to drink, and events to attend. How unbelievably, absurdly lucky am I?

My perfect Christmas gift would be eight uninterrupted hours on my couch with “Law & Order” and take-out food. But we all know the real meaning of the season is that it’s better to give than to receive. What I can give is my time. I don’t feel tired when I show up at my co-worker’s house and they are genuinely happy that I was able to make it to their party. My time standing in line is more than worthwhile when my niece gets to whisper her Christmas wish to Santa. And there is nothing overwhelming about baking something delicious to share with my friends at our annual party, even though I’m baking at midnight.

There is no prize for Most Exhausted, and I am a big advocate for self-care. But when I step back and look at the reason for my fatigue, I can only feel that I am so fortunate to be so tired.

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