Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I am dreadfully tired lately.  Work is exceptionally busy (I am running a big engineering project and training a student engineer) and I am pooped most evenings.

Besides that, I find that November and December always get crazy busy, and not in the most enjoyable way.  I love to shop, but not for other people.  I can never find the amazing things I want to find them and it adds a lot of stress.  I know one is supposed to enjoy this time of year, and maybe I would if I had more time off, but the weekends are always so hectic.  A few Saturdays to get all your shopping done (if you can find anything you actually like) isn't enough.  And online browsing can consume hours...

We are also Secret Santas again this year, which means we need to shop for two seniors...this can be time-consuming as they have long, specific lists!  I love doing it, but wish it were in April instead.  David and I are also volunteering at the Grey Cup parade and events which means two weekends in November are a write-off.  

In the midst of this, I am trying to get two chairs re-upholstered and the time required to look for and contemplate fabric samples and get quotes and consider options is maddening.  I also want to paint the master bathroom before Christmas, as we may be hosting nine people.

Oh, and I am a volunteer organizer for our United Way charity events at work this week.  Like I have nothing else to do!

And I am trying to exercise several times a week.  And helping my Mom plan a renovation long-distance.  And I have my book club, my only real social time with other women, which I love!

I can't imagine how people manage with children.

I do better when I have less on my plate.  It is a simple fact and I want to be unapologetic about it.  But the reality is, that you are either a doing kind of person or not, and I am a doing, over-achieving kind of person.  I will never get my plate cleared and have to learn to find some kind of peace in that.  

Most days and weeks, this does not bother me.  But right now, it has accumulated and I cannot bear it!  I want to get off the merry-go-round for a week.

Perhaps it's time for the flu...

I hope you are surviving these busy months better than me. And no comments please about quitting my job. No rich husband or family fortune is funding my retirement darlings!!


  1. You know... I just really love to not have plans at all. We love to entertain and have friends over but in general, there's nothing I love more than a weekend with no plans. (it's either that or a serious party! haha)

    Coming from a divorced family, I always get this anxiety during the holidays when fighting over who went where started.. now with in-laws and a whole other family, I feel it even more. (I guess it's better to be loved & fought over though! ;) BUT all we ever really want to do is stay home and relax. (although that relaxing part hasn't so much happened yet... we'll get there!)

    I think I'll be doing most shopping online and right now since baby 2 is due on Christmas Eve and might come early like Christian. I wish I could just send out a mass email to everyone saying " I love you but can't handle gifts this year" haha

    cousin lauren ;)

  2. Oh Terry, your post made me tired and grumpy too! No, wait... I was already feeling that way. There is an undercurrent of dread that comes along with the holidays for me and I wish it wasn't so. My "day job" is really busy this time of year (this year more than ever it seems) so I don't have a lot of energy left for all the "festivities" of shopping and gatherings and family issues that come along with it all. For 15 years in a row now, we have hosted a family Christmas Eve party for about 20 people and I am so not "feeling it" this year. I'm not sure how disappointed everyone will be, but I'm going to suggest an alternative when we all gather for Thanksgiving (or probably before that)
    and see what happens...
    Here's a suggestion to lighten your load: shop online. Like Lauren said she's planning to do, I've done the past two Christmases. Target and Amazon have something for just about everyone and I've completely detached myself from trying to find the "perfect" gift for anyone except spouse, daughter, special friends and a couple of parents. When only a few gifts have to be extra special, the shopping is so much more pleasant.
    Does all of this grumbling make me a Grinch? I don't think so. It makes me a person who wants to ENJOY the holidays and her family so a bit of re-tooling was in order. Hope you find your solution(s)... and a quiet place to take a nap. : )

  3. hi terry,

    i feel your pain. is that what it has come down to for us, hoping for the flu so that we can rest? i've tried to not make a big deal of the holidays since my boys are all grown but the "holiday machine" is a strong force to reckon with. going against the grain and taking alternative routes is not always met with enthusiasm from friends and family. i prefer to enjoy a quiet holiday. if you can make it over that day, great. if not there is always tomorrow. i choose to unplug from the commercialism forced on us by advertisers. i hope i don't sound like a grinch, as tracey put it, but this is how i handle the holidays now.


    p.s. gift cards are awesome. and they are sold at the grocery store now!

  4. I am a planer too. I have much planed to do and at the same time I am very busy at work. But I guess I like to plan and see my plans working out.
    I like preparing for Xmas and the first part of December but sometimes I think Xmas it self ca be a bit disappointing. The childhood magic is not there anymore.

  5. Love the way the frames all line up on the bottom.

    Hope you feel more energetic soon.

  6. Life sounds very exciting for you! Busy is good and it is satisfying to feel like the life you're given is worth making the most of. I am actually finding myself with time on my hands and looking for ways to fill it, without going to the other extreme!

    My book club is meeting for the first time tomorrow night to choose a book ~ just what are you reading?

    Take care, thinking of you.


  7. I know, I know!!! It is so busy for me too! Sometimes I really don't know how to manage all!!
    But than you have to sit down, drink a cup of coffee or tea with a nice magazine, or go for a walk in nature,...! After that you will maybe have a fresh head to continue!
    A gorgeous picture by the way!


  8. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate! Reading through the comments, it sounds like this post has been cathartic to your readers...realizing that they are not the only ones out there with a lot of fatigue going on!

    Reading this post has made me realize that I have done no Christmas shopping; there are years when I have completed my shopping by Halloween, but this year...only a gift or two on the shelf. I need to get busy.

    I am busier this year than I have been in the past 10 years, and I find that I am far more efficient when my plate is full.

    This year, we are traveling for Christmas for the first time in a decade. I am looking forward to it, and looking forward to not having to do all of the work and preparation at home, and yet I am also dreading the holiday travel and having to sync up our holiday traditions with my sister in law's holiday traditions - no small feat when you still have two young children who believe in Santa (my oldest figured it out last year).

  9. I am not one of those people who thrive on burning the candle at both ends - yet, I am constantly making 'to do' lists - constantly! I so agree about Christmas presents, it would be so much more fun to shop for people if you knew what they really wanted - no, what they would really LOVE! I hope that you don't get the flu ; ) but I do hope that you have some time to be good to yourself...perhaps a massage! Or a hot bath with Epsom Salts...or snuggling up with a cup of tea and your favorite magazine/book...none of which I've done recently, but not sure why as these moments of self-nurturing so revitalize the soul! xoTrina

  10. Oh I hear you, too! I like the flu idea...natures little way of making us slow down, pad around the house in comfortable socks and eat chicken soup!

    Things will lighten up...they just always do. You know that.

  11. Wow, I think you've hit a nerve here...

    For the last few years I've just wanted to go away to a sun destination at Christmas - just so I don't have to plan, decorate, shop, cook, entertain, etc...

    These are things I normally love doing, but with the added pressure of trying finding the perfect gifts, attending the right events, hosting the right events, serving the right food on the right table with the right decorations - arrrgghhh - it just isn't fun at all.

    Why do we do this to ourselves?

    On a personal level, I think my lack of interest is due to the fact that my family is grown and there aren't yet any little ones around that make the holidays so magical. Not that I'm in a rush for that - but when it does come I think I may enjoy this season a whole lot more.

    For now though, I make do with "the best I can do", which, when I come to think of it, is pretty darn good. A little self validation goes a long way!

    And thanks for the lovely image - it does help...

  12. First a thank you - you made me laugh out loud with your line, "I love to shop, but not for other people."

    I really liked your realization that you need to make peace with your doing/achieving personality. Just be sure to carve out time for at least one thing that is special/important to you - you deserve it. Take care! All the best, Michele

  13. Atleast we are in it together! My time is spread thin b/c i have 2 little ones. They are glued to me, and a spare momemt is for cleaning and errands. Not fun.

    I have learned only this - there will never be time for everything ! So I knock things off the priority list, and just enjoy the moment. There will always be something that isn't done. I do what I can today and try to enjoy it, no guilt no pressure over what doesn't get done.