Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Rainy and too darned warm!


Okay, Neptune just HAS to be direct by now, even though they missed it on the calendar. It’s going retrograde again in May, so it must be direct. I hereby decree it.

Can you believe how many exclamation points I used the other day? Too much sugar!

I am now officially DONE with Christmas/holiday shopping. I don’t want to set foot in another store until February. I don’t like shopping out here in the ‘burbs because people are so darned rude and strut and push their way around with this misplaced sense of entitlement. Driving a Lexus SUV just means you’re too stupid to spend your money on something worthwhile! It does NOT mean you’re allowed to act like a jerk. It also means you care too much what other people think, so get this – I think you’re an ass!

I can’t believe that Christmas Eve is next Sunday. And that Yule is on Thursday. Wow. Where did the year go? Granted, the first few months were lost to The Situation, but still . . .

I’m trying to bribe myself to finish the cards – for every ten cards I write, I’m allowed two pages on one of my stories . . .

I admit, though, other than worry about The Situation: The Sequel, this has been one of the least stressful holiday seasons I can remember.

Why?

Because I made the choices to make ME happy, not other people.

Choices that make me happy:
Decorating
Writing cards (even though I’m poky about them lately)
Baking cookies
Giving gifts
Observing years of holiday traditions while continuing to craft my own

Now, I realize that most of the stuff on this list is the stuff that stresses other people out. But it’s the stuff that makes me happy and appreciate the holiday – so I’ve said “no” to a lot of things other people think I “should” do in order to fit in with their agendas, and I’ve cut back on a whole bunch of other stuff.

When I tell someone I’m not available by phone during X hours – I don’t answer the phone. I’ve even extended that to problems in the building. I’m not answering the door unless I expect a package or someone’s made an appointment. I try to do my shopping early when people are still trying to get their act together and drink their morning coffee. I try smiling at everyone and saying “please” and “thank you.” (I don’t always succeed on the latter, but I try). For instance, as annoying as some of these suburban idiots were today, I was walking around with a goofy grin on my face (for reasons there’s no need to specify) and it was amazing how many people began smiling back in return.

But the big thing is learning to say “No.”

“No”, I’m not going to commute for an hour and a half when you have someone five blocks away who can fill in;

“No”, I am not going to five holiday parties in a single day because people think I should be “seen” and “network”. This year, I’m only spending time with the people I want to spend it with;

“No”, I am not going to clean up YOUR mess because you can’t manage your own time and think it’s okay to screw other people with your inefficiency. Your disorganization is NOT my problem, and I refuse to take it on.

And the key to the “no” is also not to explain. I simply say, “No” and that’s it. I don’t explain. “No, I’m sorry” or “No, I can’t.” I don’t have to justify it. A question was asked and I answered it.

If the response is “why not?”, my retort is, “Because I can’t.” I don’t owe these people a detailed explanation. “No” means “no.”

I don’t even feel guilty any more when I do so (I did, initially, but I’ve outgrown it). I even turned down an interview – I said I was not available by phone because of my current schedule, but would be happy to do the interview via email. No response. I would have liked to do the interview, but, by phone, there was no way I could do it within the interviewer’s time frame unless I ended up jettisoning work I both wanted and needed. So I didn’t do it.

I finished re-reading Used and Rare, and then re-read Slightly Chipped and Warmly Engraved, all of which I enjoyed. I also started re-reading When Santa Was A Shaman, which is an interesting take on all the origins of Yuletide myths, legends, and traditions.

Wrote nearly fourteen pages of The Warmth of the Hearth. This is definitely a Christiane Van de Velde piece, with all the food in it.

Dropped back into the world of Token and Affections and I like it there.

Finished the cards – out they go this morning.

Have to run to Trader Joe’s because I’m out of organic cat food and organic vegetables meant for humans – so much for staying out of stores!

I’ve planned the menus for Christmas Eve and Day, and am trying to figure out what to do for New Year’s. I’m going to do a meditation retreat again this year to bring in the New Year (with two shows the day before) – but the cooking is still up to me. I might poach a salmon with horseradish cream sauce for the Eve, and then think of something interesting for the Day. We have to eat herring before midnight (ick) and pork before noon the following morning (yum) for good luck, and have to burn bayberry.

Off to the grocery store, and then back to the page.

Devon

The Warmth of the Hearth -- 3,325 words out of est. 25,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
3 / 25
(12.0%)



Token and Affections – 27,250 words out of est. 35,000
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27 / 35
(77.1%)

8 Comments:

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

When I grow up, I want to be you ...

I'm still working my way out of co-dependency behavior - you're right, it's hard to do.

I've been a slug on the Christmas stuff, which means this week will be hectic - but it was of my own doing, so I'll get through it.

I would have loved to have seen you walking around with a goofy smile. Sweet image.

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

I applaud you on saying "no." I'm trying to do that more in my life and focus on what really matters to me.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

I'm with Bailey! :)

I haven't even started on cards. I think at this late date, I'll probably not even send any out. I wonder if I could find any Happy New Year cards around here....

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Brandy said...

I only sent out a few cards to immediate family and a cople of friends. It's easier that way instead of every Aunt, Uncle and cousin getting one, and if that makes me a bad person, well, so be it. I like your idea of saying "no". Wish I could figure out how to do that. I like the fact that you were smiling all day! Good for you!

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Dru said...

It took a long time for me to learn to say "no" and I'm muc happier now. Congrats on the progress of your work.

 
At 11:32 PM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

You sound happy. And good on you for saying no! :) The holidays should be enjoyed not stressed over.

 
At 5:23 AM, Blogger Shirley said...

Holidays are to be enjoyed. We're mad to get stressed by them.
Good for you for saying 'no'.

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Ann said...

I am inspired by this post. I have a horrible time saying no - I'm just starting to get the hang of it. (I'll have to hang out with two year olds more and follow their example - lol)

 

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