I find the Christmas season stressful. I'm a person who prefers being undercommited to being overcommited*, so I get easily overwhelmed by the addition of holiday parties and gift buying and dainty making to my schedule. (But not the dainty eating. I'm always game for dainty eating.) Last year was particularly challenging for me, as it was my first Christmas with my girlfriend, and we tried to fit in all of the gatherings and traditions that are important to both of us. It was too much, and it left both of us (mostly me) exhausted by the end.
This year, I thought I would cut back on my stress level by being on top of my game from the beginning. I would make all the dainties and buy all the gifts and stock the liquor cabinet early so that once the celebrating began, I would be ready to just enjoy myself. And I was doing okay, up until the point two weeks ago when I said "Why yes, I'd be happy to revamp the entire curriculum before January"**.
Wait...what? Who agreed to revamp an entire curriculum in six weeks? At Christmastime? It couldn't possibly have been me, because I am a rational human being who recognizes her limitations and doesn't take on utterly ridiculous and near impossible tasks.
Apparently I'm not. Because I did take on that task at precisely the time when I most want to be scaling back and enjoying my life outside of work. And if I could find a way to go back in time and open my mouth and take those words back into it and swallow them whole so that they could never, ever escape my lips, I absolutely would. Because when I look ahead to the next 19 days, it isn't Christmas spirit that I see.
*What does it say about our society that overcommited is a legitimate word, while undercommited apparently isn't?
**Back in July, I also said "Why yes, I'd be happy to be on call the entire week after Christmas", not realizing that my girlfriend would have the time off of work. Bah humbug.