Keeping Afloat During the Holidays

Posted on November 26, 2012

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This week, I feel a kinship to one of the ducks swimming in our backyard pond. On the surface, it looks like he’s content enough with the day’s affairs, enjoying a refreshing slurp of water before checking out the goings-on around the bird feeder. What you don’t see is the mad paddling of webbed feet beneath the water’s surface to keep afloat. With two large functions to organize this week, I too am paddling furiously behind the scenes, seemingly calm on the surface, yet motoring along to avoid lagging behind. The fact that I sometimes waddle like a duck after a big meal is simply coincidental.

I guess I won’t need that pedicure just yet!

It’s been said that if you want something done, give the task to a busy woman. I guess I meet that criteria. Have you ever noticed that the busiest women around you are the ones that take on the organizing of functions? I don’t, however, recall holding up my hand as an organizer for a ladies luncheon of 30-odd gals (thirty gals, not odd gals). Strangely, I keep running across a number of women with an already full plate who are able to check the to-do’s off their lists long before I’ve even found a pen and writing pad.  While good ol’ Martha has a staff at her beck-and-call to throw together a spectacular dinner party or luncheon, it’s mostly just me doing the planning, decorating and gophering. (That’s the frantic paddling I mentioned earlier.)

The timetable leading up to Christmas and New Year’s always means a predictable amount of scurrying and panic shopping, but this year, even though we’re taking a break from our annual blow-out Christmas party, the pace is still rush, rush, rush. (Way back when, as a new, sleep-deprived mother, I could have strangled another mom at the mention of her little, sweet bundle sleeping through the night at six weeks of age. I confess the same gurgling tension these days at the mention of Christmas cards already sent or holiday baking completed and packaged for presentation – spit!) My parents certainly contributed to the craziness on the calendar with raising six girls, all of us with birthdays between November 1st and January 2nd. Holy smokes, most people are pretty well finished their holiday shopping and chores before I even get the birthday gifts organized and sent off! Then, because I have super powers, I can shift my attention to the expectations and traditions of Christmas. (I think I hear Helen Reddy’s anthem of “I am Woman” humming in my head.) On more than one occasion, I have considered running away to the circus – I hear they’re looking for a good juggling act.

Lounging in the sun

So, when the sky is blue, like today, and the sun is shining, I’d prefer some time lounging in a sun puddle like a feline. I suspect, though, that that time will get cut short in order to tackle things on the list. Most women will identify with that feeling of responsibility over self. The flip side to the scheduling and organizing is that it keeps me engaged with life and people. It also comes down to the pleasure I can give to others and the satisfaction I receive from a job well done. A smiling face looking back at me is enough reward for some crazy behind the scenes paddling now and then.

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Posted in: Traditions