11 December 2007

Stress, seasonal or not.

Headache, n. (hed-ake)

The feeling you get when your body responds to stress that you have piled needlessly upon yourself.

When I worked for the olde evile bank, I realized after I'd been there and working full time for a few years that I really didn't like working full time. But, then, who really does? Even when you love your job with all your heart & soul, you'd still rather do things other than work.

I didn't love being unemployed. I was bored, bored, bored most of the time. But neither do I really love working full time. Besides seriously cutting in t the time I've got for my hobbies (ha!!) it also cuts into the time I have for mundane household chores - - - laundry, keeping my house in good order. Things that aren't truly important in the grand scheme of things....not important like having a roof over your head or heat in your house is important, but things that do need done. I, for one, like having clean clothes.

I'm also OCD enough to admit that the sight of dirty dishes in my sink, or too much clutter in my rooms makes me crazy. Twitchingly crazy. When there is nothing at all to do, I'm climbing the walls. Then when I've got too much to do...I'm still climbing the walls.

I love to entertain. And I love my family. So having the holiday celebrations at my home is no big deal. Even having both families, mine and DH's, isn't a problem.

What is a problem is the sum of the whole. Baking. Cleaning the house. Putting up not one but TWO Christmas trees. Buying and wrapping all the presents. Grocery shopping in overcrowded grocery stores for ingredients for party food. Decorating the rest of the house. Sending holiday cards.

So what's done on the list of things to do? The baking. The house is decorated, and the trees are both up. Don't ask me why the hell I do that to myself; one tree should be enough for an agnostic, no? But that is all that is done. The house still needs a stem-to-stern cleaning. None of the shopping is done, and you can't wrap what you haven't purchased. Not one holiday greeting card purchased, addressed, or mailed.

Oh, the holiday cards. Sigh. I'm feeling particularly guilty about that this year. I usually begin looking for something unique and serene in August. I usually get cards imprinted with our names, and a nice little greeting. I have whoever prints them put our return address on the envelopes. I print out the addresses to send them from an excel spreadsheet. THEN I write personal messages inside each one. And then I send them to 4 countries on 2 continents. Why? Well, I really like getting cards. I like hearing from people that I might have lost touch with over the current year.

I guess you could say it is part of the ritual of the season for me.

Please don't ask me to reconcile the fact that I don't believe in a higher power with the fact that I completely love the holiday season. Just add it to the list of things that make me lovably nuts.

I haven't done the annual sending of the cards (yet) this year for a couple of reasons. Laziness has to figure in there somewhere. Then there's the sad fact that when I lost my old job, my PDA lost its memory. I lost everyone's everything. Birthdays, anniversaries, snail-and-e-mail addresses. I sent a pleading mass e-mail to my entire e-mail address book that gmail has saved. Most everyone responded; but I haven't input the data into my new computer yet. And then there's the little detail that I was running out of money right around the time I would normally do my card-ordering, because I had been out of work. Lack of time, too. So holiday cards weren't so high on the list of what was important.

They aren't really moving up the priority list, but the fact that I still haven't done them is adding to my current headache.


Dawna said...

Wow! That is a lot of work, and when you are working... that is quite the chose. Not to say that unemployment is the way to go. We certainly have one thing in common- the need to work, and not specifically full time. I could never be a full time worker if I want to have a life. No effin' way. It has taken a year to get used to this whole stay-at-home mom shtick.

Changes are always difficult to adjust in our day to day lives, and you have gone through many changes this year as opposed to the past handful of years gone by. The important thing is to not let the small things get to you 'cause you know that you'll get the house cleaned in time for the visits, you know you'll have the cards done eventually, and you know that you will get the Christmas shopping.

Of course, it doesn't help with adverts blaring "hurry up, only X more days until Christmas"! So what? We're supposed to hurry up and wait?! One day at a time, my friend, one day at a time.

Lucy Arin said...

Thanks. Wise words. I think mostly I need to be reminded to just breathe from time-to-time. It has been a hell of a year for changes.

And who is going to die if there are dust bunnies in my living room when I have company? No. One.

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Christmas must be interesting for an agnostic. Celebrating something you're trying to ignore. Kinda' like the town drunk on the corner. Ignore him, but he's inescapably and, often, uncomfortably there.

Merry Christmas, my friend.