I can't believe how quickly Thanksgiving snuck up on me. First we were preparing for the half-marathon on Nov. 1, then the trip to Costa Rica followed just a few days after. Once we got back from Costa Rica, I had barely dug out from class paperwork before we were jumping in the car, heading to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving.
And now, tomorrow is December 1. I feel like last year the holidays were a blur. For example, in November AND December last year, I posted 11 times, which is the same amount I posted in November alone, this year. I did all of my shopping online; partly because I enjoy it, but mostly because I didn't have any time or energy to wander the shops in person.
Eleanor has changed a lot since then, and I have made a lot of progress in my quest to accomplish the work of someone with five hands and two brains. Motherhood takes multi-tasking a whole new level, but that's a different story for another time.
The biggest difference for me this holiday season will actually be job-related. At this time last year, I was struggling to work about 25 hours per week (15 hours of office work at home, plus 10 hours of online tutoring). In contrast, this is my last full week of teaching. Next Monday is the final day of class, and then the final exam will be on December 16. I see December spreading out before me, filled with long naps, getting lost in books, and fitting plenty of cooking, cleaning, and organizing into all those many spare minutes I'll have on hand.
I know I need to take a step back and realize that reality NEVER matches my fantasies. I will not have nearly as much time as I imagine. But still ... it will be more time than I've had since Eleanor was born. I didn't work at all the first 6 weeks, but I still had my hands full. Now we have a manageable schedule, the house actually has been cleaned relatively recently, and the pile of mail hasn't migrated from the mail slot to the coffee table onto the floor.
And I've gotten a lot better at giving myself permission to take 5 or 10 minutes and relax. Read a book, nap with the cat, or watch TV. Even if everything on my to-do list isn't checked off yet, I have accepted that I am human and relaxing is a necessity, too. So even though we all know that I won't get EVERYTHING done that I would like to during December, I do think that a lot of it will get done .... and a few books will be enjoyed, too.