I know I'm not the only one who struggles with getting everything done during the holidays, but I swear, this year it's been particularly rough. And I don't have kids at home, or dinners to make (most nights); no school performances to attend, none of those obligations. It can't be the fact that I'm working - geez, I've worked many, many Decembers, and a lot more hours, truth be told.
It wasn't until late last week that I finally figured out why this year feels so difficult. It IS my job. Not that the job is hard, or the hours are long (that won't start until tomorrow, ha!) - rather, it's the fact that my schedule is different every week, and because I'm afraid that I'll accidentally miss a day, I'm constantly checking my calendar to see when I'm working. And it's been a little challenging to fit normal things in, like my morning runs, reading and writing blogs, Christmas shopping, and time spent with friends. I guess I've been so accustomed to having a set work schedule that this new "retail hours" thing has thrown me. Dumb, I know, but there you have it - apparently my brain has had to go into overdrive to keep everything straight this December.
What has helped? Lists. I've always been a list maker, but right now, I have a plethora of lists going - a TO DO, a list of what I've bought for each person, a list of what I still need to buy, a list of blog topics, a list of blog business emails (I have some cool reviews/giveaways in the works), and a menu/grocery list for when the boys come home in about a week. If I keep referring to the lists I feel a little more in control, especially when I can cross things off of them. However, if I can't access the lists, that control is out the window. Yesterday I couldn't find my blog topic list (and yes, that's why this post has preempted your regularly-scheduled post) and I went a little loopy for a few minutes - I keep all of my lists on my desk, so where could it have gone? Turns out it was slipped into a different week of my desk calendar (ooh, just remembered I need to buy new one for 2011 - better add that to a list!) and with a few flips of the pages, I found it. Whew - crisis averted!
With all the (mostly) self-induced holiday insanity, I am trying to remember to take some time to do what I enjoy. That's why I spent a couple of hours yesterday wrapping presents while watching my favorite holiday movie, Love Actually. I've been drinking a cup or two of holiday tea every evening - so far, Candy Cane Lane is edging out Gingerbread Spice and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride as my favorite. Unfortunately, I've also been enjoying some M&M's lately - I bought a giant bag of red and green ones to use on our gingerbread houses...however, we won't be decorating them for another week at least. Needless to say, this has been a good reminder to me as to why I don't keep candy and other really tempting, snacky items in the house on a regular basis - it's too easy to reach for them when my defenses are down and stress levels are up.
So. The good news is that the M&M's are almost gone, and I have been
Now if I could only get the darn Christmas letter/cards/labels done, I'd be golden!