So we’re in the lull between holidays, the few days when you’ve finished cleaning up from Thanksgiving but haven’t yet gotten sucked into the chaos of Christmas. (Well, if you’re anything like me, you haven’t.) This is the eye of the storm, the brief reprieve before you end up buried under an avalanche of wrapping paper and tinsel and twinkle lights for a month. A month of non-stop cleaning and cooking and baking and shopping and card-writing and errand-running and family-get-together-planning and stress because there isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done.
Which makes this an awesome time to try to recapture my zen and harness my creativity, amirite??
I exaggerate. Really, I love the holidays. For as bleak and dark and endless as November seems, once Thanksgiving hits, I’m all happiness and Christmas cheer. (I swear that’s not sarcasm.) The only time of year that makes me happier is springtime, but that’s so far on the horizon it might as well not even exist, so I’ll take Christmas and be content with it.
But there’s no denying that this time of year is busy. As much as I love my extracurricular activities (traveling, concert-going), when you combine them with the usual adult responsibilities (the day job) as well as the other things that need attention in my life (reading, writing, running, and oh yeah, did I mention that I have a husband and a dog?) and throw in the biggest holiday of the year…well, it’s just too much. A few weeks ago, I went on my last road trip of the year. I traveled two thousand miles in less than two weeks, and at the end of it, I had to jump right into Thanksgiving planning. I was fried, on the cusp of burning out. Now, I’m not complaining – I’m well aware of how fortunate I am to spend my time doing the things that interest and engage me. But a lot of things fall by the wayside during these bouts. When all is said and done, I’m a creature of habit, and I get a little cranky when my routines are disrupted (the degree of irritation varies depending on the importance of the task at hand. For instance, breakfast and my morning coffee are of paramount importance and you mess with them at your own risk). And because I was home so infrequently, a lot of these important things that help keep me sane have gone neglected.
You all know how vital reading is to me and my mental health. Well, I’ve spent six months plodding through the same book and just can’t seem to find the time to finish it. (In my defense though, that’s not the only book I’ve read in that stretch.) Running and exercise are just as important, but of late, it’s become far too easy to skip workouts (which means I’m not only holding onto stress, but my pants are too damned tight). And despite rekindling the fire for composition a few months ago, the flames have been somewhat banked. All because I’ve run out of time in the day.
So! This holiday season, I’m making time. Despite having some (really awesome) things planned for the coming months, I’m not going to focus so entirely on them (I’ll try not to, anyway). I’m going to be present and in the moment. I’m going to pursue the things that engage my body and mind. I’m logging more miles on the treadmill than I had done in a while. I’m going to read a few more books before year’s end. I’ve got blog posts to write and stories to finish (yes, you read that right). The year’s almost up and it’s been a good one…but why not go out with a bang?