Sunday, December 1, 2013


* Thank God November's Over

It's over. It's done. (Thank goodness!!) 

I still have at least a week of hard slogging ahead of me at work.... plus I need to get ready for Christmas. Christmas cards are bought, but not done or sent;  the tree IS up (see photo proof, left -- we did it yesterday) but no presents bought yet to put underneath. December is going to be a rush, stressful in its own way -- but there will be some fun & joy to be had along the way too. :)

Someone asked me awhile back at work, "How many of these (year ends) have you worked on?" I paused for a moment and then the reality of it dawned on me: "Ummm... all of them??!"  This is my 28th year end at work, people -- 27.5 years in the same area of the same department, working on some of the same projects, including 28 year ends. (Some projects have changed -- some have been added, others dropped -- but year end will always come & go, and has probably become more complicated over the years.) 


I've never really felt bored staying in the same place doing the same projects, year after year (which I guess is one reason why I've stayed)... but as I said those words, it occurred to me how very, very wearing it can be, and has been. 28 years of November/December busy-ness, of never being able to fully enjoy Christmas preparations (or take time to fully mourn my daughter, if I felt like it) -- of always being in a rush. Exacerbated, these past 15 years, by the gloom of grief that has always seemed to settle upon me for the month of November, when I should have been celebrating the birth of my daughter.

While my Facebook feed on Thursday filled with words & images of my American friends & families celebrating & feasting together (and then going out to take advantage of some great bargains in the stores -- Black Friday spread to Canada this year too, by the way), I was tied to my desk, working late -- then literally sprinting to hop the 7:15 train home, where I nuked some leftover pasta in the oven. Some of the cousins I went to New York with in October were musing over returning to NYC next year to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live. "Can we wait until after I'm retired??" I pleaded. "I will never be able to take American Thanksgiving or Black Friday off as long as I'm in this job."  :p 

I have yet to visit Toronto's Distillery District -- shops and cafes carved out of what was once a Seagram's distillery and warehouses near downtown Toronto -- although I go by there on the train twice a day to & from the city. Over the next few weeks, it's home to a European-style Christmas market -- lights, music, food, shopping. Friends have been there & raved. But for me to try to get there after work (& then to the train -- and then get up again the next morning & go off to work again) does not appeal -- and I'm sure it would be nuts there on the weekend (and of course, we have lots to do over the next several weekends anyway).

My aunt was in the area this past week, and I'm glad we were able to see her at least once, at her granddaughter's birthday party last weekend. "We really should invite them over," dh sighed as we drove home. We should have -- I know. But I find it challenging enough to get to get through this time of year and get to all the social events we've been invited to -- let alone entertain the notion of entertaining others right now.

In my vision of the Perfect Christmas, I am the Perfect Hostess, holding a holiday open house for all of our friends & relatives in a beautifully decorated house (which has miraculously doubled or tripled in size to accommodate them all, lol), carols playing softly in the background, dazzling them with my Christmas baking. I gave up trying to do Christmas baking (or any baking, for that matter) some years ago, when it occurred to me that (a)  trying to get it done at an already-busy & stressful time of year was just stressing me out further and (b) I really didn't need all those calories hanging around the house (& then around my hips), anyway.

How have I done it, for 28 years?? I don't know -- but I'm tired. And it makes me tired just to think about it. ;)

Two more years... two more years... (I hope).

I have opened this blog every day, and noticed the increasing length of time between postings... but even if I had time to post, I just haven't felt the muse lately. :p  Just wanted to say I'm here, I am way behind on my blog reading & commenting (as well as writing), but hoping to catch up later this month when I'm finally off for a few days.


  1. Beautiful Christmas tree!
    Wishing you a nice December.
    lots of love from sLOVEnia,

  2. Your tree looks nice! That is always one of the last things I do, alas -- we still get a fresh tree, but I'm thinking next year we might buy an artificial, because I like to leave everything up until Epiphany.

    I'm not much for holiday baking (or any baking at all, LOL). Maybe a batch of sugar cookies to decorate and a few batches of pretzel buttons (ring or square pretzels, Hershey's Kisses, M&M on top) -- my hips don't need more, either. : ) Last year we all had terrible sinus infections and bronchitis in December, so that was a good excuse to not bake at all. : )

    I thought of you yesterday, Loribeth! DH and I went up to Galena for our anniversary and came back via 61, past your relatives' town south of Dubuque.

  3. Your Nov/Dec sounds like a teacher's Aug/Sept. Being crazy busy the same time year after year (vs. randomly as projects pop up). Only your busy-ness coincides with a very busy holiday time. The answer: you need to convert to Judaism :-)

    Wishing you a lot of peace as you race towards year's end.

  4. What a lovely Christmas tree! Hubby has just put up our Christmas lights (we don't have a tree, but we put some lights outside as well as near two windows). The lights really make a difference 'coz we're getting less and less sunlight here. Funnily enough, I think this month I'll be less busy than in October or November (when my coworkers took turns getting sick).

  5. Lovely tree. (I love trees - don't do any other decorations). I am very impressed you have it up so soon.

    I cannot imagine being in the same job for 28 years. But if it has never bothered you, then you are one of the lucky ones. With the exception of the November gloom and December stress. And all I can say is that I'm glad you don't try to force yourself to do all the Christmas stuff in December as well as coping with work. I just read an article about the "good-enough" Christmas. And unless or until you have time, then that should be all we ever aspire to.

  6. Lovely Christmas tree, LB! I fantasize about spending the entire month on a tropical island, but alas, I`m stuck here. I like gift giving but I stress about not having enough money to buy what I would like to give, trying to think of inexpensive alternatives, hosting Christmas which always involves me doing most of the work, the decorating, the wrapping, the card writing,.... I have an idea, put in for a holiday next year at this exact time of year - would the place fall apart without you? Probably, eh?

  7. @Deathstar: A holiday at this time of year (for me or anyone else on my team) would not be approved; no frickin' way. POSSIBLY a single day off might be granted, but not until after the year-end results get released -- which, happily, is tomorrow. ; ) There will still be plenty to do after that, but the worst part of the pressure will be off. (At work, anyway... then the Christmas shopping will begin in earnest!!)

  8. Glad you got through November, with it's attendant sadness. Sorry you can't really enjoy the holidays. Lovely tree. I agree with the "good enough" Christmas mentioned in the comments. I am just so curious what kind if job you do / company you work for ? Hope you are able to somehow combat the weariness or find some down time..

  9. @Tiree Gal: I work in corporate communications for one of Canada's largest corporations... part of my job involves communication of quarterly & year end results (quarterly & annual reports and other related internal & external communications). Our fiscal year end is October 31 and we (& all our competitors) just announced our results this week.