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About Finishing Well
2018 has been a hard year for many people. For you, it might be going down as one of the worst years you can remember. It may have you feeling breathless … hopeless … tired and weary. Perhaps you’ve reached the desolate point of: let’s just get this over with, shall we? 

I remember a few of my own desolate Decembers too well. 

Prior to 2010, my holiday goal involved boxes—checking off boxes, wrapping up boxes, and stuffing emotions in a box until they came out in one negative form or another. I always collapsed on December 26 feeling exhausted and empty. I look back on those years and realize I have no significant memories to cherish because I was too busy, too distracted, too hopeless, and too overwhelmed to tuck any away. 

Coping in a state of overwhelm is a painful and miserable way to wrap up any year -- especially one that might already feel disappointing and hopeless. This year, I sat back and took stock of how I’ve changed my approach to the holidays, and decided I wanted to share the strategies and steps I took that have helped me learn how to enjoy the holidays with a sense of joy and optimism -- instead of guilt, frustration, and gloom.  

Although I am still a work-in-progress, I now have eight Hands Free holidays under my belt. My turning point during one of those desolate Decembers was the moment when the notion popped into my head that in spite of all the regrets I had accumulated, there was still time to salvage the situation... there was still time to gather a few threads of hope... there was still time to turn purpose in the pain. What saved me from sabotaging another holiday was the realization that today matters more than yesterday, and today awaits my presence with open arms. 

Small, barely noticeable efforts to show up for my life became my passageway through the pain and struggle, leading me to valuable gifts of discovery that transformed my perspective, my relationships, my responses, and my circumstances. 
Now, my goal for the holidays is this: To gather together with our messy, imperfect hearts and create memories that outlast us all. 

Yes. That’s it. 

{insert sigh of relief} 

It’s doable.

It’s possible. 

There’s still hope. 

And it can be yours too. 

The small steps I share in this eBook will allow you to turn pain into promise and heartache into hope while serving as a springboard for a positive new year ahead. 
No matter how disappointing, overwhelming, or painful 2018 has been, there is still time to salvage the year by recognizing the gifts within and the gifts yet to be. My hand is in yours; there is still time to finish well. 


Rachel Macy Stafford
Rachel Macy Stafford has one goal: help people choose love as much as humanly possible. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today. She is also a certified special education teacher and inspiring speaker. Millions find solace and direction in her weekly blog posts at and supportive Facebook community, The Hands Free Revolution. Rachel’s work has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, TODAY Show, Global News, and TIME and countless other print and online media sources. Rachel loves taking long walks, baking, and volunteering with homeless cats and nursing home residents. Rachel lives in the South with her husband and two daughters who inspire her daily.
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