Finding Calm in Work and Chex Mix

photoLike most parents last Friday, I had trouble concentrating on work. The news from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, was so horrifying that I just wanted to go grab my children and lock them in my house forever. Luckily, I was working from home, and while I had work to do, it wasn’t the kind that required a lot of intense focus. I spent the afternoon trying not to look at the news, trying to concentrate on something I could control, like scripts and deadlines and email. I also made Chex Mix for co-workers and neighbors.

I’ve already posted about how snack mix seems to be my big contribution to the holidays this year. Friday I could let it bake, do some work, stir it every 15-minites or so, and when a batch was done it filled the house with yummy smells. I felt guilty to be enjoying something so simple and calming while other families were going through hell, but it kept me from frightening my own kids by yanking them out of school. Plus, I’m not sure what any of us can do in those minute-to-minute moments of our everyday lives except keep going.

That evening, I filled up the Christmas tins and my littlest one helped me deliver them to our neighbors. It gave the adults the chance to talk about what had happened, and it made my daughter happy to play Santa. Today I’m giving tins to co-workers, and I guess it’s nice to share some cheer when a lot of us really want to share a good cry.

And now I wonder: what, if anything, are you giving neighbors and co-workers this year? I’d love it if you’d share!

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A co-founder of Working Moms Against Guilt, Sara Bennett Wealer is an author, copywriter and mother of two. Her debut novel for young adults, RIVAL, was released by HarperTeen.

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