Tomorrow brings the first day in my two-week trek to northern Michigan to visit my parents. I’m extending my holiday visit by a week because I won’t see them during Christmas and probably not until late April, firstly because of the wicked bad weather that generally shows up between Janauary and March between Pennsylvania and Ohio and secondly because they are spending longer and longer stretches of the winter in Florida. I am feeling a bit guilty because I am going to have to pack a few files and sneak in some work here and there but I am trying to excorcize that feeling – last week was an exceptional week in terms of my workload and it put me a bit behind, deadline wise.
I actually don’t mind so terribly much having a bit of work to take since it will cause me less stress knowing I am meeting my deadlines that allowing them to whiz past me, but my parents, as much as I love them, don’t really understand my job or the kind of work I do and it will concern them if I actually work while on what is considered vacation no matter how much I assure them I won’t be claiming those hours as vacation time. No, I am going to have to work around the edges of our time together, but fortunately there is usually quite a bit of free time.
I can’t yet tell if I am looking forward to or dreading the holiday season. I almost always look greatly forward to it – I am definitely one for the Christmas tree and the carols and the family time and etcetera – but right now the next six weeks or so feel like a great big rock wall that needs to be climbed with painstaking precision. In the face of already, too much excess holiday cheer, from the monstrously huge manger that sits in the plaza in front of one of the buildings I work in to Christmas music in the stores beginning three weeks ago to the block of Christmas parties and obligations booked on my calendar, a large part of me wants to run screaming from the season and lock myself in my house until its all over. I’ve never before understood the scrooges of this world, those who failed to embrace the spirit of the season unless it was for religious reasons, but when I weigh the obligations and expectations of the next six weeks I emphathize, a bit.
What I need to do, is take things day by day, and work on staying in the moment. I am about to embark on a trip where I will see dozens of people I love over the course of two weeks – I need to concentrate on that, and not on all the work I am missing, the life I am missing back in Pittsburgh. I will say this one last thing and then cease my moaning: as Pittsburgh becomes more and more my home, as not only my house and my friends are here but also my gym and my yoga studio and the movie theater I like and a place where I can get gluten-free burgers for dinner and my grocery stores and really, my rhythm and routine, it grows increasingly difficult to return for large chunks of time to northern Michigan, to take on the routine of my parents and my small hometown.
A-hem. So, I wanted to give you a bit of an idea of what to expect for the next six weeks, blog-wise, so you can decide whether to keep reading or just wait until the new year. Also, I am nothing if not a fan of plans and writing out a quick plan for this blog provides an odd comfort to me, reassuring that I am not abandoning it but rather just taking a hiatus or sabbatical or whatever. So, the plan. I will not be writing here between now and early December. In December, sometime between the 5th and the 24th, you can expect the usual (and much loved by me, at least) yearly blog wrap up posts…ie, books read, movies seen, progress on 2009 resolutions, resolutions for 2010, and etcetera. From about the 24th onward I will be in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana with my in-laws, since we have decided to take a family trip for the holiday, so posting will resume early in 2010, with what I hope is renewed vigor…I am planning some new categories, some new projects and a stronger focus for the blog, which excites me. I wish everyone reading who celebrates Thanksgiving a lovely, lovely day and for those of you who honor holidays during the upcoming weeks, I hope those are wonderful, as well. I’ll see you off and on over the coming weeks but look very forward to a return to stability and routine in the new year. Until then I hope we all breathe deeply and remain in the moment as much as possible!