And the Panic Sets In

Somehow, when I was busy doing other things, the year got away from me. Completely. Now, things that seemed very far in the future — say, both Christmas and my trip to Egypt — are less than two weeks away and I am not ready. At all. Even if I discount my work to-do list (which, alas, I cannot) the amount of things I need to accomplish by December 25 has me a bit daunted. Among the things on my list:

  • Decorate my apartment for Christmas, at least a little. It feels a little bleak without a tree or lights or other seasonal stuff.
  • Write, print, and mail my Christmas letters. Enough on its own, this also entails buying stamps and fixing my printer, since changing the ink cartridges seems to have broken it.
  • Clean my apartment thoroughly enough that people can stay here while I’m gone. (My friends Julia & Michael are in the midst of a months-long home renovation and may stay here for a few days  in order to experience such luxuries as a kitchen and regular hot water.)
  • Buy Christmas presents for my nephews. (I think just them, anyway. I’m pretty sure we adults have decided not to exchange gifts this year. If I’m wrong, someone please speak up.)
  • Get my hair trimmed & colored, and get a pedicure.
  • Go to four Christmas parties.
  • Figure out what I’m going to wear for the wedding, determine what I need to buy to make it work, and then shop. (Fortunately, I bought a beautiful Pakistani shalwar kemise for Farin’s henna ceremony, so I only have to deal with one more fancy outfit.)
  • Determine what else I need to bring on the trip, what — in addition to all the wedding stuff — needs to be carried on (in case my checked luggage goes astray), and then solve the problem of my woefully inadequate luggage.

That’s just a start, really. There’s plenty of errand running and other, smaller stuff that needs to happen, too. And thus, panic.

See why I baked so many cookies over the weekend? I was stalling. Denial, after all, ain’t just a river in, ahem, Egypt.

13 thoughts on “And the Panic Sets In

  1. Mom December 15, 2009 / 7:02 am

    WOW that’s a daunting list !! At least you’ve reduced it to a list — the first place to start. CHARGE ahead. Somehow we always manage to get it all done. Ho Ho Ho. :). I’m sure A few of our fellow bloggers will remind you that at least you don’t have a houseful of hyped little “helpers” !!

  2. Susan December 15, 2009 / 8:53 am

    Can you take a day??? I always save a personal for December. Mine’s today :-). I am a much happier person when I get to enjoy the shopping. I’ve got 14 stops today…but I am focused, so I think I can do it by 3…when I pick up L from school. Good luck with the list!

  3. common loon December 15, 2009 / 9:38 am

    A single strand of Christmas lights thrown around a window, mirror, etc. goes a long way to make things feel Christmas-y. Just one strand and our house feels like Christmas. Maybe put off the tree and ornaments and such?

    Oh, and your Christmas letter? PLEASE do not send one before you leave! Write it on the plane trip home and email it with some cool photos. Because really, about 2/3 of our cards arrive before th 25th, and the rest afterwards (mine will likely be in this group this time around…join us slackers). And that would take some pressure off having to post photos or such upon your return.

    Get your nephews something you would love…anything CAPS – related (plus you can order online).

    Good luck – your list is quite daunting. Cookie up (or caffeine) and do what you can. As long as you don’t miss your flight, it will all work out.

    @ Sue: I’m just a tinge jealous. If I lived close, I would love to accompany you. If you had fears of being slowed down, I would just drive you from place to place and drop you at the door, then be your getaway car. There would be coffee involved, and at least I could drink mine while it was hot. And I would definitely oogle over every deal you find.

  4. sionna December 15, 2009 / 2:20 pm

    I’m on the “Send the Xmas list AFTER the trip” train…that way you can fill us all in on your wonderful and interesting trip!

  5. common loon December 15, 2009 / 2:47 pm

    @ Mom: Speaking of helpers….I’ve noticed over the past couple of days that the lights I took pains to string on the tree seem to be “gapping.” I passed that off as being tired, the end-of-a-long-day mind-trick thing. I’ve already had to cut off the bottom row of ribbon garland, as it was drooping to the floor (happened within 1st week of tree going up). Well, now it’s clearly the afternoon, and I’ve noticed that there are many more ornaments on some obscenely low branches than I recall, AND a string of Christmas lights is actually stuffed limply on a single branch and running along the floor in 3 spots. So, do I just let in go another 10 days and the tree wil have “magically” come down on its own, or shall I put the same elves to work to take it all down and put it back up correctly???? OK, so really there are only 2 elves, as the one is gone most of the day st school & activities. AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!

  6. Mom December 15, 2009 / 3:33 pm

    They are not called “helpers” for nothing!!! Try to look upon it as creative development — or “art” –and just let it be. Or your fixing and their rearranging could become a daily activity. At that rate, there won’t be any needles left on the branches in 10 days. They will outgrow this. But maybe not. I am still tweaking the distribution of my ornaments and my tree has been up for two weeks. How say the Moms? Grandmas do have a different perspective. Ho Ho Ho. 🙂

  7. Susan December 15, 2009 / 8:00 pm

    @CL I would have LOVED a driver 🙂
    Good day…pretty much everybody is done. Now I’m feverishly wrapping…and trying to figure out if I forgot anyone. I still need to get the father-in-law finished…and 1 more for Meg…but everyone else (I think!) is good! 🙂

    SO Sarah…I have learned you can do an amazing amount in 1 day. Just make the list…..

    And Thursday after school I’m baking with the girls and their friends. If I blogged, that might make a good post…

  8. Mom December 15, 2009 / 8:38 pm

    Ohhh Girls…. The good ole days. Glad I’m where I’m at!!

  9. Susan December 15, 2009 / 8:45 pm

    And is it OK to admit that I HATE baking????? It is sad, but true. And the girls LOVE it!! I suffer more mom guilt over my failure to teach them cooking and baking then (almost!) anything else. Good moms teach their kids this stuff!

  10. wendalicious December 15, 2009 / 9:14 pm

    My two cents:
    forget the cards til you get back, forget the decorating, definitely do the pedicure and trim/color, skip the cleaning (your friends will definitely understand – I know I would) and buy gifts for the nephews online and have them SHIPPED to their house (gift wrapping included). You’ll be there to watch them open them, right?

    The other stuff seems non-negotiable to me, so focus your attention on them.

    Done, and done!

  11. Eileen December 16, 2009 / 6:03 am

    Now I’m feeling overwhelmed. We don’t have a tree yet. Not one to be tweaked or dismembered. I’ve done no cooking or baking (our fridge is at the condiments and beer stage) and the shopping is hardly started. And a card/letter. What a lovely idea. Since it’s 5am and my best sleep of the night was from 9:39 to 11 last night on the sofa I don’t see today improving things much. Tis the season!!

  12. Auntie Fran December 16, 2009 / 8:33 am

    Eileen, I think you should not fret . Santas helpers are coming Christmas Day!!! Stop on your way home from the airport and pick up a cheap tree … There will be plenty of Nannies to hold J! Make another stop for Chinese … and you’ll have the same amount of chaos and fun and love. And someone who baked sooooo many might even send a box of cookies in a suitcase! Wish I were there 🙂

  13. Mom December 16, 2009 / 1:15 pm

    @ Susan. FORGET the guilt. It is a “take home” society anyway. So long as there are recipes on the Internet they will be fine. :). You are a WONDERFUL mother!!!

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