Christmas eve marks the beginning of the point in the year where posting snarky commentary on the internet is more like shouting into a void than any other. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. People are focused on other things – friends, family, avoiding friends and family – whatever may be in their holiday tradition. As for me, I mostly drop into a less rigid schedule and post when and whatever the mood of the moment dictates as we all race towards the end of the year.
I find Christmas Eve not so much the start of relaxation as the last gasp of mayhem and chaos as people sprint to the finish line of their shopping quests or trundle cross country to wherever it is they’ll spend the holiday. Maybe later in the day we can all manage to take a deep breath.
For all the buildup, Christmas will be here and gone again nearly before we realize it. Like any other big production with a life of its own, this thing is going to happen. Sure, we can shape it around the margins, but weighing it down with expectations, instance that it must go “just so,” or the quest for a perfect moment will drive you straight to the nuthouse.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there are still a million things to do and despite everything I might say, I won’t get a moment’s rest until they’re all knocked off the list… as if any of you thought just laying back and relaxing was an idea I was going to get behind.
You can say what you will about raucous benders, trips through Amish Country, and adventures on the high seas, but as for me, the best weekends tend to be the ones where I don’t have much to say on Sunday night. It means they went more or less according to plan, weren’t jam packed with the yammering of strangers, and essentially allowed me to deal with the least amount of stupid possible. Those weekends don’t tend to make for great blogging, but they do tend to leave me feeling rested. That’s saying something especially coming hard on the heels of a dog that insisted on barking through every roll of thunder and gust of wind all the previous night.
Like all good things this too must end. Daylight tomorrow will break on a computer that may or may not be networked, a gaggle of senior personnel who have decided over the weekend that months of planning need to be changed overnight, remembering we’re in the midst of an election with no good choices, and the general asshattery that comes along with your average Monday. That makes these good weekends, the best of them, among the most rare of gems. And you can’t beat that with a stick.
Christmas vacation is about to get truly under way and as much as I’d like to say I’m going to spend the evening warming my toes by a roaring fire, the reality is something more like packing out an expedition from Everest base camp. Between now and the time my head hits the pillow this evening there are hundreds of pounds of equipment and material to be toted, lifted, and strategically placed in the truck to ensure proper load placement and balancing. All of these preparations must be carried out in such a way as to avoid raising the suspicions of either of my canine traveling partners – as that would lead to passing a very uncomfortable night with a dog firmly attached to each hip from fear of being left behind.
This part of the annual rites of winter is not particularly restful or relaxing. By Friday, though, the initial mayhem and chaos should have worn itself down into something a little more manageable. If not, I’m fairly sure there’s a flask or two in one of these bags that will help smooth the way.
As much as I always look forward to the trips back into the beating heart of the little piece of geography that made me, getting there from here (regardless of where in the world “here” technically is at any given moment) always boarders on exhausting. Fortunately a good night or two’s sleep will shake that off.
For all the others out there preparing to do battle with the interstate highway system, good luck and godspeed to your destination of choice… And if slower traffic could go ahead and merge to the right that would be great. Mmmmmkay? Thaaaaaanks.
I want to sit here and spend the whole weekend with my nose in a book. Between houseguests, tending to the sick and injured, and the general surprises that life throws at you, the last couple of weekends have not been the model of peace and tranquility that I tend to favor for my days off. That’s not a complaint, by the way; it’s just a statement of fact. I really, really want a nice quiet weekend in which I can try to work through the “to do” stack and bring a little order to the chaos. Most people reading this will surely know my abhorrence of half done things sitting around on every available flat surface. Yeah, I get a little irritable when things aren’t just so. It’s my OCD after all and I’ll piss and moan about it if I want to, thank you very much.
So yeah, my plan is to hit the ground running early tomorrow and take care of the must do activities – picking up groceries, going to the dump, getting the grass cut. Then if I can manage to at least get the downstairs cleaned up, that will go a long way towards reducing my current anxious state. It’s surprising how much ephemera piles up when you and two seventy pound dogs do most of your living in about 400 square feet of a 1200 square foot house. Have I mentioned how glad I’ll be when Winston gets the all clear to start moving around again? Let’s just forget for the moment that it’s still about eleven very long feeling weeks away.
I’ve had three days off and it hasn’t exactly been one of those nice restful weekends that everyone wants. Between cleaning, vet visits, picking up groceries, more cleaning, laundry, and sundry other odds and ends, I’m not feeling rested at all. I’m sure it doesn’t help that most of those things are what I’ve been putting off for the last two weeks, but still, how about a little time to do nothing at all? Yeah. That’s not going to happen. The good news is that the house is (mostly) clean and there’s a refrigerator full of food again, but that’s not something I can really hang my hat on when I wonder where the long weekend went. It’s all stuff that needed done, of course, but I get the distinct feeling that I’m spinning my wheels, since most of it will all need to be done again next weekend.
What I need is more time. Just a few more hours in the day maybe. Or at this point I’d settle for figuring out a way to better use those six “wasted” hours in the middle of the night when I’m busy just laying there. Ranting about it hasn’t seemed to do much good, so I’d better get moving and make the most out of the couple of hours I’ve got left this afternoon. Sheesh, and I thought time only flew when you were having fun.
Aren’t you supposed to feel rested and reenergized after you take almost a week off? Maybe that’s just a fiction created by Madison Avenue to sell timeshares and trips to sunny islands. Fact is, whatever restive effects I had been feeling this morning were dissipated long before lunch. After that, it was just another day at the office. Not good. Not bad. Just the same as every other day. This really isn’t a thinly veiled complaint, because as we all know, I’ve had jobs I’ve well and truly hated in the recent past. By comparison, this one is like puppy dog dreams on a feather bed. If lacking a certain degree of passion is the worst thing I can say, I suppose there’s very little to complain about at all. Of course it’s also possible that I’m a little out of sorts because I’ve spent a week letting my routine get thrown out of whack… and let’s be honest, we all know how much I like sticking to the routine.
Once my internal clock is resynced, things should be right as rain.
One of the ongoing challenges with my self-diagnosed mild-OCD is that there are a whole bevy of things that normal people seem able to put on a back burner that stay a priority for me no matter what else is going on. That shaggy grass is going to get cut no matter how god awful the neighbor’s yard looks – and it’s going to get trimmed to. The laundry is going to get done once a week even though I could probably go three or four weeks without technically needing to wash clothes. Things are going to happen on a schedule even though there’s no rea practical reason why they need to. I’m a creature of habit, we all know this.
Tonight was the first night since I’ve been in the house when the compulsion to “do things” hasn’t been triggered the moment I walked in the door. The guest bedroom still needs put together and the basement looks, well, like a basement, but tonight I just came in, sat down and watched television rather than listened to it while doing three other things. It was sort of nice in a complete slacker kind of way. That’s not saying that the little voice inside my head that likes everything to be “just so” won’t make himself known again by this time tomorrow, but for tonight, everyone including the dogs seem content just to let things be.