Saturday, December 24, 2011

Been Away

I've been away from blogging for a long while. Away from most of my routine activities, with the hustle of the season inexorably edging into their place. On this day, poised on the edge of Christmas joy, we pause and we breathe.

I celebrate all the effort and reward that the last months have brought, all that we have accomplished and undertaken. Tonight and tomorrow will be magnificent.

And, I am ready to see the season move along. To let it slip quietly away in December darkness and return once more to the comfortable challenges of an ordinary routine. I'm sure I'll have goals for the new year. I'm sure I'll work a lot and save money and blah, blah. For right now, I am suspended in this lovely winter dream, and I am ready for the soap bubble to pop and float us all back into the rest of our lives.

Everything in its own time, everything in the right place.

Solstice Season

Winter Solstice again.

The longest, darkest, richest, softest nights of the year. The rest that powers rebirth and reinvention.

We spent one night in calm and one night in the chaos of revelry with beloved friends. Candles ablaze, food, wine, sweets and coffee spilled across every table, and wrapping paper flying like confetti through the air.

Make your Winter wishes for the coming year. Our greeting rings out: Be Merry and be well!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is it Thursday Already?


It's a busy time of year.

My goal at this point is to get some extra sleep this weekend.

I have only one or two more gifts to pick up. I'd like to wrap the pile that is growing in my living room. We are having 8 guests over for dinner tomorrow (yes, we did a dinner just last week too. And next week's dinner with a different group of friends will number 8 adults and 10 kids. I know. I know. It is excessive.). So ideally we should clean the house.

It would be lovely if the tree so carefully placed in my living room and festooned with lights also had some decorations on it. And maybe a star at the top?

I'm cooking meatloaf for my parents tonight.

Baby steps, Marie. Just baby steps.

I completed all my workload for this week ahead of deadline, and I have more lined up for next week. And then I'm taking a week off and relaxing.

Hope whatever you have on your to-do list or not-to-do list for today, that it's a pleasant one. I keep reminding myself to pause, breathe and at least pay attention to the moment I'm in.

Monday, December 12, 2011

When does vacation start???

On days like today, I feel slow and creaky.

Monday mornings are my lowest energy spot of the entire week. Ironic how low I feel because I teach on Monday mornings. Definitely takes some effort to get any energy up to needed levels.

Everybody in my family is slow on Mondays. I practically have to herd the children off to school with a bull whip. It's a big transition from the hustle of the weekend to the slog of the workload. Plus usually housework and laundry has piled up a bit and has to be wrestled back down to size.

I'm not back in bed yet, tucked up with the covers over my head, so I suppose that's a good sign. I suppose I'm going to just stay up - for one more Monday - and even email off some work. And do dishes and laundry. And warm up with a yoga dvd. And go teach.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Making Work My Favorite

Gimbel's Manager: Why you smiling like that?
Buddy: I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite.
Manager: Make work your favorite, that's your favorite, okay?
Buddy: Okay.
Manager: Work is your new favorite.

- Elf, best Christmas movie ever!
A couple of days ago, I posted a breakdown of my working hours. Here's the way my hours break down, by quantity, if I add in my leisure time.

1. Family Care/Family Time
2. Social Time with Friends
3. Shopping
4. Work
5. Yoga
6. Cleaning
7. Other Exercise
8. Writing

I do have a very active social life. I have a nice blend of friends some of whom are free during the day, and some whom work then. The result is that it's pretty common for me to do something with a friend two or three times a week. And that's a minimum, if I kinda avoid overbooking myself. We entertain friends in our home twice a month at least.

While it's fabulous not to worry about being lonely, I do have to fend people off a bit, or all my working hours get sucked away. Which is fun social-wise, but not so rewarding with the paychecks, you know?

This week is awesome though. I don't have too many commitments yet, and I have a full 35 hours of work to get done! Yay, because we do need the money for all the Christmas extras. Fortunately, most of our Christmas shopping and prep is done, and we don't have plans for the weekend yet. I like that when there's still a lot of possibility, but there's no firm plan.

We just spent last weekend hosting a dinner, meeting friends for lunch, going to a baby shower and going to a birthday party. Four events in three days gets a bit hectic so it's nice to slow down and work for a while. Use my brain instead of my mouth. Ha.

Smiling IS my favorite, but Work is too!

Friday, December 2, 2011


As I grumbled by way through a rapid house cleaning before dinner yesterday, I kept wondering why I can't get to that task more often, especially considering how much I value a tidy home.

I realized that I unfold my working hours of the day in this priority order:
1. Family Care
2. Shopping
3. Work
4. Yoga
5. Cleaning
6. Other Exercise
7. Writing

That's just an accounting of my "work" hours, not leisure time, although for me, those are all mixed and mingled together with no clear boundaries. I do actually get to most of these activities every day. For sure, I hit the top 3-5. But that does explain why I always feel like there's more cleaning to be done, especially the in-depth kind.

And why it takes me a long time to finish stories and projects.

I'm not saying this list is the way my life necessarily SHOULD be - perhaps I might want to consider moving shopping down the priorities a bit, huh? - I'm just saying that this is an accurate reflection of how my time splits up.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wish List Rough Draft

Ack. I am so frustrated right now.

I want space. I want freedom. I want more time.

I am tired of being busy. Tired of feeling dulled. Tired of trying, but not quite enough to get to the results I want. Not even being sure of the exact results I am aiming for, being too busy to sit down and sort them out.

I am tired of feeling watched, my breath caught in a half-expansion, my limbs stiff with disuse. So close but still stifled. So capable but not doing. Doing so much to such a good degree, but still not quite there. Wherever there is. Thinking that maybe it is even Here.

Quite tired of the crap and the complaining and of seeing people living their lives in pain. Tired of feeling frivolous because of my own ability to push the pain aside and enjoy life nonetheless.

Wanting to be quite, quite good, but effortlessly, but work all the same. Yeah. That. Not sure if the things I pour so much effort into are the things that count the most in the long run. Or maybe I am, and that's why I do it.

Or maybe I'm just cranky cause the house is untidy, the presents are unwrapped and I have to whip it all into shape, plus a festive dinner, plus homework, plus smile and be gracious in the next five hours. Yeah, it's probably mostly that.

But I do wish I could force the time into my schedule to be patient enough and dedicated enough to write more. And move more. (Ha - a contradiction right there.)