Opps! I almost completely forgot to blog! It’s Thursday, right? Who else is twisted with holiday responsibilities and trying to keep some semblance of a rational schedule? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
It’s suddenly gotten nuts around here. When did it get to be December 10th? This is all California’s fault. Even though this fine December, the weather has given me a cold blast (nothing by Pittsburgh PA’s standards but hey, my blood has thinned over the past three years), I’m still always confused about the seasons. If it wasn’t for the malls and those goofy, blow-up lawn decorations, I might miss Christmas all together.
One year, I had put up the tree and never got around to decorating it. Seriously. On Christmas Eve I took it down, too embarrassed for company to arrive and see a naked artificial blue spruce (the poor thing wasn’t even sporting a skirt). It was easier to explain I just didn’t want to put it up than tell them how disappointed I was that I didn’t have time to decorate it.
Over all the years of my adult life, the Holidays have been a touchstone that has kept me sane in a vibrating, insane sort of way. It’s like those moments right before the batteries run out (you think what you want) and you know you’ve gotta finish what you’re doing before it happens. Ten years ago I vowed to change it, to downsize the frenzy and find real peace in the Season. Now I’m afraid it’s gotten a little out of hand. Why else would I forget to enjoy the Holidays?
I suppose I’m obsessive compulsive. If I write, that’s all I do. When I find a favorite movie, I watch it again and again. If I’m in a Rusted Root or Counting Crows mood, it’s all I listen too. If I diet, I never eat enough. When I smoke, I smoke too much. If I decide to clean … well, you get the point.
I think it’s time for a little balance, so I’ve made a conscious decision to permit some of the Holiday craziness back into my life this year. I never expected it to take over but it’s my decision and I’m sticking to it. Now, let’s see, I must …
- Bake cookies
- Make wonderful food gifts
- Go shopping and actually read through the lists of what people want
- Clean the house
- Put up the tree AND decorate it
- Plan a Christmas brunch for the family
- Wrap all the gifts I make or buy
- Smile at everyone
- Restrain from hating those goofy inflatable lawn decorations people have
- Lose 10 pounds
Okay, what did I forget? Oh yeah, BALANCE. Now, let’s see, I must …
- Bake healthy cookies … and write between batches (yes, that sounds good)
- Make food gifts but maybe write a few gifts too, recipes are nice (now I’m cooking!)
- Go shopping, but after I’ve written and handled my publicity clients needs (must pay the bills)
- Clean the house, in spurts, between editing chapters or doing research (that feels possible)
- Put up the tree AND decorate it … AND be inspired by it to … write (right?)
- Plan Christmas brunch, but keep it simple (so I have time and energy to do what I really want to do … write)
- Wrap all the gifts in those pretty gift bags. (Someone give the inventor of gift bags the Nobel Peace Prize, please.)
- 8) Smile at everyone. Easy, I’ll stay home most of the season, so I won’t see too many people. (I’d rather smile while I write anyway.)
- Restrain from hating those goofy inflatable lawn decorations – okay, I draw the line here. The best I can do is write an article about how much I HATE those things! Some of them even play Christmas Music! Can you believe it? And of course, the music is OFF KEY.
- Lose 10 pounds … okay … forget it.
All right, so maybe balance is more about doing what you really love to do while dealing with what you’d rather not do. If I play my cards right, I will enjoy this Holiday Season and still retain my time to write, cook, smile and HATE THOSE BLOW UP LAWN DECORATIONS.
See, told ya. Obsessive. And by the way, if all the fat air-filled Santa’s in Los Angeles are flat as a pancake on Christmas morning, I’m innocent. I don’t even own a penknife. Honest.