I need to get my mind right about the holidays.
In a normal year, I really enjoy Christmas because I keep it low key, I’m organized and well prepared, I can enjoy shopping because I do it early and keep it conservative. Christmas cards are fun to write and fun to get–they’re little kisses on the cheek to and from friends I rarely see.
This year, I’m out of control. I devoted the last six weeks to my mother, and now I’m behind on everything and freaking out. I have Christmas cards in four different places in the house, in four different stages of completion, and can’t seem to find the time to coordinate and consolidate. I have a paper due for school, and the almost-finished first draft does not hold together and makes no sense. I’m behind schedule in work. My house is a wreck. My dog no longer gets walked regularly and I’ve put on weight. I have obligations that I have had to slide on, and all that makes me grumpy.
The holidays are prime territory for an alcoholic to go crazy. I learned in AA that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are just days on a calendar. There’s no need to go overboard. I took that advice to heart, and I have never gone overboard. I fix a nice Christmas dinner (for only 9 adults this year — that’s no big deal), give little gifts to everybody (mostly cash this year — everybody needs it, it’s one-size-fits-all, and nobody needs more junk), and put up minimal decorations.
It’s just that I need another month before Christmas arrives, so I can catch up on everything.
Life isn’t going to slow down after Christmas, either. Well, Al will go hunting with my brother, so that will give me some alone time and I will probably make progress on all fronts, but then winter term starts, and I’ll have two more papers to write, there’s our winter vacation, and then tax time, and then, and then, and then…
No, I’m not going to get more time, so I need to get my mind right.
I need to understand that devoting six weeks to my mother and her affairs was the right thing to do and the top priority. I regularly get Christmas cards from unorganized friends into the New Year and I don’t mind. If that happens to be me this year, so be it. Christmas is a season to be enjoyed, not endured, and if I’m enduring and not enjoying, then I need to spend a little more time contemplating the reason for the season. The paper will get written — good grief, I can write a little research paper. I just need to carve out the right amount of time and get it done.
What I really need to do first, right now, is get organized. My lists have lists and I don’t do well with that.
So my resolution for today is to take an hour and get myself organized. I’ll consolidate my lists, put everything first into perspective and then into priority. I’ll enlist Al’s help in a calm and appreciative way, and then I’ll put my head down and take down these tasks, one at a time.
Nobody knows how many Christmas celebrations we have left. As I well know, those sitting at the dinner table change every year. This year my mom’s chair will be empty, but then we’ll be enjoying the twins for their first Christmas.
I really don’t want to lose this celebration to my own silly craziness.
So I won’t.