I skipped a day. I hadn’t planned on it. But this head cold I’ve got is doing some kind of number on my cognitive abilities. Yesterday morning I woke up and headed to the kitchen dead set on something. Only by the time I got there, I had no idea what I was there for. It was one of THOSE days.
That also means I’ve neglected writing any more in my book since the last entry. It annoys me because I really want to work on it. It’s just anytime I really sit down to think about it, everything jumbles together and I can’t keep a straight thought. So frustrating!
In other news, it seems I’ve gotten the “how is the job hunt going?” question a lot lately. Honestly, I’m not doing anything on it just yet. The main reason is because my original plan was to lay low and take the holidays in stride. They’re already a stressful time, so there’s no reason to add to the mix if I don’t have to. I also really want to take a trip (flying, of course!) for several days to Boston and give it a hard look. It’s hovering near the top of my list of potential places to consider but I need to make sure it’s for all of the right reasons. I want to make sure it’s a decision I’d be happy making and living with. At least for a year or two. There’s also the issue of not being real sure what industry to look at or career path I want to head down. You’d think after four years of undergrad and two in grad school, I’d have an idea. Ha! Joke’s on you! That’s a lazy excuse though. Just stick with the first two I gave.
Speaking of Christmas, it’s right around the corner: 9 shopping days & 10 full days to go! I finished up my shopping today and I’m just waiting for one more package to come in the mail. That’s fairly early for me. But it also helps that I was on a three month trek seeing all kinds of good ideas and have no job responsibility to eat up hours during the day.
Here’s my thing with Christmas though – I have a love-hate relationship with it. AOL Radio has been streaming Christmas tunes through my computer speakers since I’ve been home. I love Christmas songs. Also, several years ago, I had an idea to be different and stand out with my gifts. I started a quasi-tradition of having my gifts wrapped in a theme. It’s been so long ago when I started, so I’m not sure what the first year was. But I’ve used aluminum foil as wrapping paper one year. Garbage bags another year – I actually used the plastic as wrapping paper instead of just setting the present in a bag. The year we moved from Arizona back to South Carolina, I used moving boxes and included hints on the box like you do when actually moving (i.e. My grandmother received several ingredients from King Arthur Flour, so hers had “Kitchen” on it). The year I went to South Africa, I used zebra fabric to cover everything. I used the brown shipping paper and rubber bands as ribbon one year. On and on and on.
Well this year, I had to involve my trip in some manner. When I went out shopping this weekend, I was looking for some kind of wrapping paper with maps or globes on it. No such luck. My initial thought was to use maps but if you’ve priced maps lately, that’s expensive wrapping paper if I’m wrapping all of my gifts in it. But since it’s almost always a secret up until the last minute, I hadn’t told anyone my ideas. Just by coincidence, when on the phone with my mom, she said I should use maps. “Too expensive” was the response, only to be told she was getting rid of a lot of old maps she had. Score! So since it semi-ties into my trip, I’m letting the cat out of the bag early this year – maps it is!
If you’ll notice in the last picture, I made the bows. Out of pieces of maps.
Doing awesome things like this, how am I still single?
Or straight? 😉
So I really enjoy looking forward to those few things. Not that it’s something unique but I also remember always going to pick out a live Christmas tree with my dad. Many times last minute. Sometimes on Christmas Eve. Bargain hunter extraordinaire right there. He also makes it a yearly tradition to get both my brother and I the annual Clemson ornament. I’m missing 1999 – 2002. 2007 somehow slipped through the cracks too. And it’s not like I have my own tree to put them up on. But hopefully that will be a different story at this time next year. But it’s something simple, something expected, but something that’s unique to my Christmas too.
But like I said… it’s a love-hate relationship. I love the build up. But by the time it actually rolls around, all of the shine has rubbed off. What’s the idiom? It’s like a Monet – Looks good from afar but up close, it’s a big ol’ mess? I feel that way about Christmas now that I’m not a kid (or at least less of a kid than from years before). Everything is always so coordinated that people get stressed out. Especially when someone strays from the plan, which invariably always happens. The main purpose (aside from the religious significances) is to enjoy the idea of sharing the holidays with your family you rarely see. And it always turns into who buys what for who. It’s commercialized. And materialistic. When you’re 10 years old and you want any toy ever seen with your own eyes, a Christmas full of gifts is great. When you’re 28 (especially getting back from a trip in which you minimalized your life into all of the possessions that would only fit in the back seat of your truck), the idea of tons of gifts just isn’t appealing anymore. Stuff always gets thrown away, which isn’t supposed to be what it’s all about. I’m still a “kid” in the family, so I’m not expected to buy a bunch of presents for everyone. But I typically get each person one or two things they either really enjoy or really need and leave it at that. The gifts mean more that way. And in the end, you spend less money, create less waste, and it just makes everything less stressful. And I’ll always be that way – one or two gifts. If/when I have kids, I’m sure that will change to some degree. But I’m still going to refuse to go overboard like a lot of people do. Christmas is about family and sharing (and religion to some people), not trash and debt. Yay American culture! (Man, I really am turning into a hippie…)
And with that, my annual Christmas rant is out of my system. More than a week before Christmas at that! Bah-humbug, right? At least I was considerate enough to give you enough time to perk back up for the holidays 🙂 I do hope you all enjoy your holidays though. And maybe take a day or a few hours to appreciate the non-commercial side of it.
No idea how to wrap all of this up and end it (Thanks, head cold!), so I’ll just leave you all with a “Goodnight!”
P.S. I just had someone tell me this:
“I feel like I get to know you more by reading your blog…. I mean I feel like I know you but I learn more about you by reading it.”
And it made my night. I’m not really sure the purpose of the blog started out that way, but I’m proud it’s taken that turn at least with one person (Thanks Stacie!). Generally, I’m a pretty guarded person. I understand that it’s easier to be more open by typing words instead of speaking them but I feel like part of me has opened up after my trip. I just need to keep pushing that envelope and working on it.