December Walls When Decking the Halls

Yesterday, I just didn’t feel good. I had an early morning dental appointment for a cleaning to which I went with a headache. Despite some ibuprofen, the headache persisted for most of the day. By evening, I felt like I had not gotten anything done.

Of course, this wasn’t true. I had actually done a lot but felt like I hadn’t accomplished much. Being very much a goal-oriented person, if the things “on my list” -mental or actual- do not get done, I often feel let down. Such was the case, yesterday.

After the dentist, my husband and I ran errands.  We were supposed to go to the YMCA as we’ve been trying to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But, the late start generated by my dentist appointment prevented any motivation we had to go since we had missed our window of time scheduled for exercise. He swims; I use the treadmill. We do not attend classes, so we could have gone but elected to do the errands instead.  So, we visited a few stores and got a few things done – not much.  Some of our stops included looking for a brand/type of dog food that was eluding us. However, in our travels, we noted that it was very busy for a Thursday morning.

During the afternoon, I did laundry, made cutout cookies, and cleaned the main bathroom – not all at the same time, of course.  By last evening, a third of the cookies were gone – although they had not yet been frosted. Such is life with teen-aged boys! Ornaments sat on a table in the lower level of our house near where we elected to put the tree this year. Our 23 week old Yellow Labrador puppy named Molly, who is still very mischievous and playful, influenced that decision. It was a decision made not only to preserve some of our family ornaments but also for the dog’s own safety.  As of this morning, the tree was still only about three quarters decorated and not finished by any means. Usually, the tree is the last thing I decorate in our home at holiday time. This year, it was the first thing I set up due to 1) buying a pre-lit artificial tree last year and, 2) being placed in the family room instead of the living room.

As I looked around, I realized that I still have the mantle, the front door stoop, and tabletop decor, as well as more shopping, wrapping, and baking to do. Hmmm? That is quite a list I made for myself!

Was I enjoying Decking the Halls?  Ugh, no. The only thing I was really enjoying at this point was listening to hour upon hour of Christmas music while I worked. And, I do enjoy the music, very much – especially if it is hymns or traditional carols by Bing, Frank, Burl, Karen, LeRoy, and others.

Last night I felt like I hit the wall. I was tired. But, more than physically tired, I felt mentally fatigued. Where was the schedule I had supposedly set for myself after my job resignation? Nowhere in sight, as far as I could tell!  Admittedly, a schedule is hard to keep for anyone during a holiday week. But, even as of today, a full week later, I was still floundering trying to find when and how I would be able to return to some semblance of normalcy, which really amounts to getting three to four mornings a week or a total of 12-16 hours to work on my own field of expertise – environmental education. It just wasn’t happening. I really need to figure this out.

I know I will. I know the holidays are just adding things for me to do that is getting in the way of my productivity in another area of my life. It happens to everyone. I know I am no different. I do enjoy some aspects of the holidays. I love how the house looks AFTER the decorating is done. I love giving. And, did I mention, I love the music?!

But, some of this involves breaking some very old patterns and habits. Many other friends and moms know what I am referring to.  A long time ago, I promised myself I would not lose who I am, or am meant to be, for the sake of pleasing or being needed by everyone else. My needs are as important as anyone’s.  And, only I can protect them.

Decking the walls? Uh, I mean, halls?

It will get done but you can be sure I will keep an eye towards doing some things differently next year.

Fa- la- la-   la-la    la-la-la-la.


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