Today was proof of an ongoing mystery that’s been building for the past two years. That mystery is directly connected to the fact that I’ve now been retired from teaching for two years.
Anyone who is also retired has asked themselves the same question:
At – having started yesterday at about the same time – I finally finished wrapping all the Christmas presents. The tree is still not up, the mantle is still bare, and the various ornaments that we put out are still in their boxes. Since everyone is on a diet, or should be, I’ve done no baking.
When my now-ancient children were small, I worked, completed two degrees, and still sewed tiny wreaths to hang on the tree, rolled out cookies, and had the whole family for Christmas dinner.
But I also remember almost weeping with exhaustion as I addressed Christmas cards at 11 at night, and I was still wrapping gifts when I’d rather have been in bed.
I’m working hard at reining myself in and lowering my standards so that I’ll actually enjoy the holiday, instead of approaching it like an Olympic event where there are unseen judges holding up score cards showing my level of perfection.
So this year, to support a church fund raiser, I bought Christmas cookies that someone else baked. I’ll make the ridiculously easy and uninspired appetizer for Christmas Eve that everyone prefers anyway. And I’ll stay nailed to my chair instead of leaping up to get things, cook things, tidy things, for everyone else.
I can feel my shoulders un-tensing already.