I can’t be the only person who finds this a really stressful time of year—can I?
Sure, I know we are on the ‘downhill stretch’ to the end of the year now (and I have some holiday time booked which I am really looking forward to—3 weeks to relax, recharge and do as little as humanly possible, I hope) but therein also lies the problem—there is so much still to be done and so little time left to do it.
I wish I could feel the same way as Douglas Adams when it comes to deadlines, but I can’t. I do not like to be late. For anything. Not for paying a bill, not for meeting friends, not for going to the movies . . . not even for a dental appointment (and I hate going to the dentist). I am one of those annoying people who always turns up 15 minutes early wherever I go. If I am not there 15 minutes early—I am late. The same goes for deadlines—I don’t like them (even the word sounds ominous—deadlines) but I definitely don’t want to be late for them. Unfortunately, at the moment anyway, all I can see is an unending stream of deadlines laid out before me . . .
This week seems to have been a particularly busy one. In my head at least. My brain is chock-full of lists of things that need to be done and deadlines that need to be met—end-of-year data and statistics . . . and college courses wrapping up . . . and what Certificates still have to be issued . . . and I haven’t even started on next term’s Brochure yet . . . and the car failed its Pink-Slip and needs to go back for more repairs . . . and the ‘Rego’ is due . . . and I have a house inspection next week . . . and what will I write in my blog this week (ha—at least that one is sorted) . . . and Mabel needs to go back to the vet about her ears again . . . and I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping yet . . . and . . . well, you get the picture. Nothing desperately awful or life-changing. Nothing different to the stuff that goes on in anyone else’s heads (except maybe for Mabel’s ears). Just stuff. Too much (first world) stuff. Sigh.
I like to think I do a pretty good job of not letting the day-to-day drudge get to me, but I have lately realised that I am probably just kidding myself. Until something happens to make me glaringly aware of it, I can often be oblivious to how stressed I actually am.
When I get home from work I am always greeted ecstatically at the back gate by my three girls, who bark madly, dance around in circles and (in Maudie’s case) pee in their joy and excitement at having their mum home again. It’s lovely, and the next ten minutes are usually spent telling them what good girls they are, how much I’ve missed them . . . and how nice it would be if they could all just calm down a tiny bit now . . .
Last Tuesday was no different—at first. We went through our ‘mum’s home’ rituals of hugs and pats and I followed the girls inside and went about my usual routine (kicking off my shoes, putting my bag and keys away, flicking the kettle on, etc etc) —until, all at once I realised it had suddenly gone very, very quiet. Surprised, I looked up to find all three girls sitting in a row on the sofa, silently watching me. Although nothing had seemed out of the ordinary to me, something in my demeanour had alerted them to the fact that their mum had had a long day and probably needed just a little bit of ‘quiet time’. It seems they are better at reading me than I am myself. Bless.
It didn’t last long, of course. As soon as I changed into my walking gear the madness and silliness started all over again (yay—we’re going to the park!) but that short, quiet, lull had been enough for me to stop and take notice of what they already instinctively knew. I needed to stop. Relax. Take a breath.
So we are now at the end of another week and nothing much has changed. All those jobs still have to be done (and a few more have even been added to the list) and the deadlines still have to be met, but that’s okay. I feel calmer about it now. It will all get done. It always does.
And if it doesn’t? Well, I guess I could always take a leaf out of the ‘Doggie-Handbook-Of-Life’ and practise their ‘handle-every-stressful-situation-like-a-dog’ thing . . .
You know . . . just pee on it and walk away . . .