I love Christmas.
I mean, I really love Christmas. I love the carols, I love the decorations, I love the smell of mince pies in the oven.
But so far, I am not loving this Christmas.
For starters, I am on OMGCRAZY work deadlines. I should be doing work right now but I am taking a moment to feel sorry for myself before I do it. I am working many many hours a day, even today. In fact, today at 2 when I checked my email, there was a message asking if I could do some EXTRA work. I replied and said well maybe but it will be very very late, and got a response that yes I would have to do it late.
Here’s today’s schedule, for example:
7.30 up, shower, dress, hair & makeup, overnight laundry into dryer, collect laundry from bedroom, new load of laundry on, pack bag for work
8.40 leave for work. Saw a friend on the tram, which was a nice start to the day. Bought nectarines in the city and ate one because I hadn’t had breakfast. Nectarines are a 9.75-rated kind of fruit.
11.30 leave meeting, make plans with colleague on tram, go home.
12.15 or so Hang out laundry, put some into dryer, put on another load, collect bubble wrap, collect parcels (at least they were wrapped), find address, go to post office, mail parcels, home, do work
14.15 go to hairdresser. Unable to do anything for 2 glorious hours. This was a Bad Plan but a Good Experience.
16.40 home, call Fraser to see what his plans are, call parents to re-arrange picking up the kids, hang out laundry, put on another load of laundry, get email asking when Biggie is going to Sydney, call airline to book her trip, quick chat with a friend/colleague while I finish the work I had aimed to finish before I went to have my hair cut.
18.45 or so Fraser home and changed, send off work to colleague, get bag to go to get kids, probably there was more laundry here that I have erased from my brain.
19.00 drive to my parents’, collect kids, drive to shopping centre because we still need some “small gifts” for the kids, go to restaurant, order dinner, take Otto to buy a Christmas gift for Fraser, eat dinner, Fraser takes Biggie to buy gifts, Otto discovers that the MAGIC MACHINE THAT GIVES YOU LOLLIES is broken and melts down, calm her down, meet up with Fraser and Biggie, swap children so I can take Biggie to buy a gift for Fraser, return Biggie to Fraser and take 45 minutes to run around the centre getting the stuff I need, meet up again at 22.00 when the kids are near meltdown and drive home.
22.30 or so put kids to bed. Otto insists No Computer Mummy and You Have To Lie Down With Me Mummy so I fall asleep on her bed (designing an OMG fabulous children’s game with a Very Punny Title) while Fraser kindly goes to the supermarket.
23.30 wake up, drink, chat with Fraser, contemplate work
0.20 here I am.
Tomorrow’s To Do list:
- Spend Quality Time with children
- Go to post office to collect parcel
- Go to distant courier depot to collect parcel (have lost notification card so this might be a problem)
- Grocery shopping as we still have essentially nothing to get us through Christmas
- Meet friend who is only back in town for a few days at a play centre. It is lucky I already promised to do this or this would get blown off not because I don’t want to go but because I have no time
- Bake gingerbread to take with me to friend (it is her favourite)
- Contemplate housework. We need to do some if we are going to have a tree. And it has not happened yet but I don’t want to disappoint the kids.
- Do the housework I contemplated
- Put up the fu- errm, the Christmas tree. And decorate it. With tinsel and lights and baubles and stuff.
- Wrap more gifts
- Write cards for neighbours and drop them off
- Add photos to Christmas letter and send it off. By email because it is too late to actually be a card. Sigh.
- Get kids into bed before 8pm.
- Buy carrots. Because Rudolf and the other Reindeer want to eat them.
- Put Magic Fairy Dust on the back lawn. Because Otto was given it by her teacher.
- Try to catch up on email, geekmail, etc etc etc.
- Write other cards. Because if you post them by Christmas time it is less tragic than if you don’t.
- Do all the getting-ready-for-Christmas stuff that happens after the kids are asleep. Um, baking and stuff, yeah, that’s it.
It’s that time of year again where I realise that work-life balance is just a lie. I feel I’m careening from one desperately urgent thing to the next, and I hate that feeling – I want to stop and take control, but I just don’t have time. We had Christmas with my family on Sunday and I am not going over to my parents’ on Thursday despite the guilt.
“I don’t have time” is not an excuse, it is just a reality. I am the critical path for Everything Christmas at our place.
After hitting the shops at OMG5AM on Boxing Day? I plan to go to bed for a Very Long Time, and Not Speak To Anyone.
Only problem is, I think Fraser is planning the same.
I’m trying to think of how to save Christmas, or at least save my sanity. Chocolate is looking good.
Whinge over, I have a funny story.
Me: Well, for Christmas, I want a day where I don’t hear ANYBODY yelling or complaining
Otto: You just had that.
Otto: We were at Nanna’s for more than a day.