Monday, November 14, 2016

We Have Now Entered The Crazy Time

This time of year gives me the shakes.

Make me contemplate, and perhaps occasionally participate in, day drinking.

November and December are the most insane time of year with to-dos, only rivaled closely by April and May.

It's mostly a happy to-do list, but it makes me want to go off the grid and reappear in January, perhaps having learned how to knit and make perfect gluten free baked goods.

Unfortunately I don't feel I'm adequately equipped to deal with isolation like that, but it has it's appeal right now.

In addition to a very serious case of post-election Facebook addiction, that then requires a lot of additional hours worrying about people's sanity, we are knee deep in the pre-holiday madness.

We have Thanksgiving meals for each child, on the same day, at slightly different overlapping times, in more than one location.

I literally JUST learned that Aiden has a school performance on Friday which means Cole also has one that I don't even know about yet.  It could be right now as I sit at home and type about my crazy schedule.

We have end of the season soccer tournaments (3 games in one day is too much!) right up against this season's piano recital, that I'm not sure anyone has been practicing for recently.

We have 8,302 projects due yesterday that are still "in the works."

There are invitations to respond to and extended family outings being planned.

There are sign ups for food, donations, and pictures.

Do I real think I can get a pie to the older kids' school and help a friend over coffee and remember to drop off a folding table for an event?

More importantly there are highlight appointments and lash extensions to be worked in to the mix.

The most basic of essential tasks.

To add to the madness, we have a supermoon tonight that I am supposed to remember to show the kids because they might not see it again for another million years or something, and if they miss it they may not have their interest in science sparked and they won't work to find the resolution to the hole in the ozone layer before we are all burnt to a crisp from exposure and that will all be on ME because I was too excited for them to get in bed so I could watch half a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie BY MYSELF while I try to strategically plot the next day's orthodontist appointment and overlapping hair appointment.

I just can't.

I do not want to be this busy.  I do not want to wear a badge of busy pride this time of year and respond to everyone that asks me how I'm doing with, "I am so busy!"

Though I have been afflicted by that busy addiction disease in the past I really don't want it.  It's a real problem for me right now though.

Yesterday we went through one of the most stressful events a mom of four children can do, family photos.

Holiday family photos.

We have never done the holiday family photo, because I have never mailed out Christmas cards.

Go ahead and judge me now.  Never a single Christmas card.

I'm 99% sure Jesus doesn't care, but it sure starts to feel like He might when I tell people that I have never taken the energy to figure this out. We've been parents for 11 Christmas seasons now and I have yet to get myself organized enough to make the card happen amongst all this other stuff.

The last few years I have made weak starts to get the ball rolling, but I quickly crap out with all the address gathering and zillion dollars on a card spending and the forgetting people and the perfection needed in it all.

So all of you that assumed you were being snubbed by me should rest easy, I'm not leaving you out, I'm just lazy.

This year my friend Samantha offered mini sessions with adorable holiday-esque scenery and because I am the easiest person to market to (just ask or maybe just mention) I signed up for our family to be part of the magic.

The actual photo taking was fantastic.  Samantha was wonderful and all my kids (and husband) had great attitudes.  Yay!

It was the getting ready for the photo that made me wonder why there isn't a prescription for Xanax distributed with the booking. This is clearly more than a normal Mom can handle.

The outfit selection nearly killed me.  I basically neglected everything else in my life while I traveled to multiple stores and malls and friends' closets and desperately sought the most perfect combination of clothing so we would appear effortless and cohesive while displaying each of our unique strengths and attributes.

My friend Keri devoted an entire day to shopping for this photo.  She'll never get that time back. She probably has PTSD from the tedious decisions about blending, but not matching, shades of khaki and grey and gold with the additional task to add a bit of color.

My friend Judy listened to the same annoying monologue from me on and on about outfits, then lent me jewelry and her husband's shirt for Alex.

FYI, men think that is weird and are not on board.

(Staci you definitely should still live here and save my other friends from me torturing me.)

How are people doing this during the holidays?

We now can check it off the list though.

Here is my single snapshot of the photo shoot in progress, in case I never do use the actual photos for Christmas cards.

Cole with the transitions lenses is killing me. He refused to have his photo taken without his glasses though.  Now I'll have to figure out a way to footnote that Cole has not actually starting getting high on Sunday mornings.

That I am aware of.  I may be too busy to even know.

I am my own worst enemy during my busy times though.  We hosted friends for dinner here Saturday night.  Friends that I know would be happy if I threw a paper plate at them and told them I burned dinner so we're ordering pizza and going to take shots of ouzo and laugh.

But I didn't do that.

I went another direction.

There is a lot of Greek food in the kitchen back there.

I love my people.  I love gathering them and being around them.

I have a difficult time saying no when we are invited somewhere or an opportunity arises for me to join amazing people to do fun things.  It's life giving to me to be in my community of people.

I have been with my people a lot lately though.

The result of that love of people and having four young kids though means I'm busy.

Really busy this time of year.

The challenge then is not whether or not I can say no more, which may be a good idea, but really more whether or not I can keep the gratitude for my busy from now until January 1st?

Can I do it?

I like to think that I can.

I think I can help it along by continuing to wear aprons like this around Aiden and his friends and see them get really uncomfortable, because that keeps my joy alive.

Apron courtesy of Grandma and Tractor's trip to Italy

It's artistic people.  I'm giving them culture and memories to last a lifetime.

I'm a good Mom.

How do you stay sane during this time of year?

Do you struggle with being-busy-addiction?

Judy and I are going to talk about being busy this week on our Facebook page, 2 Moms in a Bar.  You should like our page and share your thoughts/videos/questions about the state of being busy right now.  We would love it.  It would give us something to do.