Christmas and so on

So, I can’t believe it myself, but I’m going to shoot myself in the foot by immortalizing it here — I am done with my Christmas shopping, and I have finished all of the gifts I was making.

I can’t believe it either. I am the queen of procrastination (see my blogs?), I am the matriarch of the unfinished project (ask the DH, our house is a monument to half-finished knitting and cross stitch projects and even clay figures), and I am usually going until the last minute.

Sure, I could continue baking cookies, and I might, but really, seven different kinds of cookies and one tray of no-fail fudge is good.

I would say I could make more handmade gifts, but there aren’t really any more to do. Except for one gag gift for my sister, that’s the last item I have. I do have to do the finishing work on the ones I have finished, but those are easy enough to take care of.

And yes, I have to wrap everything. But I don’t want to wrap and put things under the tree too soon, because I fear the kid might decide to start opening presents. And seeing presents under the tree for the next two weeks might be unfair to her. This is the kid who, until a few weeks ago, kept asking if we were going to “more more trick or treat?”. Now she only asks every few days.

Plus our living room is somewhat crowded as it is, and she’s still really clumsy, so the fewer obstacles I deliberately place in her way, the slightly better parent I’m being.

I’ve been having a brutal time at work the last while for reasons I won’t go into in detail, and though I was coming home and crafting most nights (either knitting or cross stitching), I was finding it wasn’t quite doing it. For some reason, the night I decided to bake was one of the first nights that really helped me out. I was still somewhat stressed and upset the next day, but not nearly as bad as it had been, which was refreshing. I guess cooking/baking is a creative outlet of a sort — or I drugged myself with all the sugar I was imbibing as I sampled the dough I prepared. Surprisingly, given the ridiculous amount of cookies currently in my kitchen, I have eaten very few of them. I tried one from each batch to make sure they tasted okay and I wasn’t going to make anyone sick, but other than that, the only ones I’ve eaten really have been the cinnamon roll cookies, and only because some of them turned out weird-looking. Yes, that is the only reason.

But what I’ve been finding lately, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m winding down on the crafts/baking, or whether it’s just the voice in my head getting louder and louder, but the itch to read and write is definitely ramping up. I plan on sharing some pictures of the presents I’ve made, and I have pictures of some other projects I’ve made for me that I’ll be posting in the next while. I just want to both get back in the habit of writing but also not overcommit myself so that I get overwhelmed and down on myself if I can’t meet my own demands. I know I periodically jump in to say that I want to write more and blah blah blah, but then I find that my creative writing muscles have atrophied, and so it’s an effort to write, and so I don’t make myself sit down and do it — and especially after having spent all day in front of a computer, sometimes writing, it’s doubly more effort. As it is, I seem to average 5 hours of sleep a night — which is not enough, believe me — and any time spent on the computer in the evening leads to me dozing off. I should really take the hint, but then I get a second wind and look, it’s midnight and I feel like I’m awake, even through really I’m not, I could sleep anytime, and I get distracted by one of my seven billion hobbies.

But I read something recently in one of my billions of writing guides that asked if not writing/accomplishing a novel would be something you would regret on your deathbed, and the answer for me is a resounding yes. I love my kid, I love my husband, I love my cats, I’m mostly happy with my life, but writing is something I thought I would do for a living when I was 6 or 7 years old. Admittedly, it is what I do for a living, but not the way I always imagined it. So maybe 2014 will be the year I finally do something creative I feel proud of.

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