Right now we are in the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The in-between time. The race to Christmas is over, but the Christmas spirit still lingers. The decorations are still up and I'm still playing Christmas music, but we have another celebration to look forward to and the holiday atmosphere is still here. I almost think of Christmas as a week long celebration that goes from Christmas Eve through New Years Day.
This week has always been just as pleasant to me as the days before Christmas and I suspect that this goes back into my childhood. Most years we were at my grandparents and this week was spent enjoying Christmas presents, visiting with relatives, going for drives in the country and, weather permitting, taking a winter walk through the pasture or nearby woods. One holiday was over and another was to come before we had to head home and declare an end to that year's Christmas season.
This week is when people begin making their New Years resolutions. Time to end one year and start the next with good intentions of new habits. I've never seriously made New Year's resolutions; although I usually do think of a few things that I should do like organize all those paper pictures stored in random boxes and finish some UFO's in the quilting room. But strangely, this year I've had several experiences that are making me aware that I do need to make one resolution and keep it.
The first event was my inability to concentrate and plan a simple breakfast. I had signed up to provide the buffet-style breakfast for my Sunday School class on the Sunday before Christmas. I had estimated we would have about 40 people that Sunday (and I was right) and needed to plan for juice, fruit, and then two other items. I've known about this for weeks, but every time I started to think about the menu I just drew a blank. I just couldn't organize my thoughts and make any decisions. I even looked for some new recipes thinking that would help. But nothing, nada. Even in the grocery store I was wandering around for quite a while, picking up items for one dish and then putting them back. I just couldn't seem to focus, but finally got it together and the breakfast turned out well. The end result was that I realized that I needed to de-clutter my mind; I just had too many thoughts going too many different ways which was keeping me from focusing. I resolved to sit down after Christmas and spend some quiet time trying to re-group. Maybe sit outside with a cup of tea and a notebook, clearing out the mind.
The next event was on Christmas Eve day. I was to make dessert for our family gathering. After much debating I decided to make Red Velvet cupcakes, but wasn't sure about what else to make. So, the result of my indecision was that I ended up going to the grocery store early on Christmas Eve morning to get the things I needed for the cupcakes as well a few other items. I had decided the night before that if they had a suitable pre-made pie or dessert that I would just buy it. After all, I had not wrapped any gifts and I knew that my time was short. That turned out to be a wise decision and I brought home a lovely (and delicious) pumpkin pie. But the problem was that in addition to the store being crowded the shelves were pretty empty in some places. Including the aisle where the baking goods and the necessary red food coloring would be. I stood there in disbelief looking at the empty shelf. What, I screamed out to myself, no red food coloring? Don't they know this is Christmas? Good grief.....oh, wait. Really, are you surprised? What were you thinking, did you really expect to come in here at the last minute and find a much sought after item like red food coloring? Come on, it is Christmas and red is the color of the season! So I had to re -group and fortunately found a package mix that worked well. Still in a state of disbelief as I finished the shopping I reminded myself that I had no one to blame but myself for waiting until the very last minute to shop.
As I drove home I continued my conversation with myself and had the clear thought that it is time to get myself organized again and quit living 5 minutes into the future; I have to start planning ahead. Not a bad resolution, is it? It is definitely time to sit down with the tea and a clean page in the notebook and start thinking ahead. As 2014 comes to a close and I enjoy this in-between week I am finishing up some of those unfinished items on the to do list and getting them out of the way. I feel like I'm clearing the path in my mind to get back into an organized life. I'll probably fall off the track and when I do I'm just going to remind myself about the red food coloring episode!