Ugh, the Race to the Holidays Begins Today. How to Resist.

Julio Vincent Gambuto
3 min readSep 5

Starting Monday, September 11, Julio Vincent Gambuto will present “Modern Muting” — a weekly Medium story series dedicated to helping readers step back from all the bullshit of modern life, create quiet, re-evaluate, then go forward boldly. It’s 500 words a week of “self-help meets the system.” New stories drop each Monday.

And we’re off! It’s the day after Labor Day — the day we roll up the sand and sun and put them in storage for the fall and winter. School is back or almost back, depending on where you are in the country or in the world. And everyone and anyone who works at a laptop suddenly realized at 9pm last night that they have a lot left to do to meet this year’s goals. The race from now to the holidays has begun. Word to the wise: take a few minutes today or this week to let that shit go.

How? First, remember that today is just Tuesday. Not everything you want to do or are planning to do between now and New Year’s needs to get done today. There are still 117 days left in 2023. That’s 1/3 of the year. So, take a deep breath. The good news is that even when those 117 days run out, there are 365 more waiting on the other side. What doesn’t get done this year, you can choose to put on your radar for next.

Or you can choose to simply not do. Take some great advice from Oliver Burkeman and choose what to fail at. This past summer, I decided to fail at working out. Funny enough, I succeeded at failing. And it felt great. Not only because I got to check the box that I didn’t work out (satiating my OCD), but I knew it was my choice. I didn’t miss the gym because the world is crazy! or my work is overwhelming me! or because I am a terrible human being! I didn’t work out because I decided it wasn’t the priority for the summer.

Next, take a look at the calendar for these next four months. What did you learn from last year? How much time do you really need to prep to host Thanksgiving? How many days do you really need to recuperate from Halloween with the kids? How many vacation days do you really need to make the winter holiday actually feel restful? Stop pretending it is less than it is. (I used to be a master at lying to myself this way.) Schedule an accurate — and kind — amount of prep days and rest days into the calendar. That way, the “race” is…

Julio Vincent Gambuto

Author of “Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!” from Avid Reader Press at Simon & Schuster // Now available in US and UK //