Phew!

That about sums it up. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of, well, stress. I did exactly what I told myself I wasn’t going to do–got too caught up in the busyness of the season rather than actually enjoying it. The week before Christmas was spent in very late nights, early mornings, trying to finish everything I was making to give to those I love and cherish.

I remember one night, in particular, being up until 2 a.m. with my office looking like an assembly line with more than a dozen paintings laid out on the floor, or propped up against a wall, in various stages of completion: Okay. We need blue sky on this one, and this one, and this one. And I would mix a healthy dollop of white into the blue to get a good sky blue and slather it over the upper halves of each painting. Then, for those with ocean scenes, that same blue mixed with a drop of black to get that deep-sea blue, then lightened a bit with some contrasting color and a few lines of white to form the crest of waves and the foam in the wake of a sailboat or ship. I need to work on my ships. And my mesas. And almost all of the animals I painted in were either asleep or had their backs to the viewer. Or were silhouetted. I’m not confident enough yet in my painting abilities to tackle contours and facial expressions. We’ll get there. This term with SNHU is “Intro to Drawing”. And, later this year, an illustration class. I may see what Michael’s crafts has to offer on art classes, too.

But that’s neither here nor there.

I’m angry with myself for procrastinating all season long. I told myself this time last year that I would give myself a good, early start with my painting, knitting, or whatever else I was planning to make as gifts, and not give myself this sleep-deprived, stress-laden holiday effect. So much for remembering why we actually celebrate this season. Although I did attend Mass last Sunday, I vaguely remember fighting sleep the first half of the Mass. However, a bit of humor to slip in. It was my week to serve communion. The big Christmas celebration at church had been the evening before so, sadly, the early-morning Mass was nearly empty. Father Elson filled the goblets half-full and sent us to either side of the altar to give it to those parishioners who wanted to drink the blood of the Lamb. Well, because the numbers were so small, I still had half of a goblet full of wine at the end of communion. As Eucharistic ministers, we have to finish whatever is left as it cannot be wasted. That little half glass of wine, coupled with only 4 hours of sleep and an empty stomach came close to laying me out flat in the pew for the second half of the Mass. Sad, but true.

That’ll teach me…

But I’m not complaining. Not really. Dinner at Uncle Ernie’s the week before was a beautiful sharing with family–albeit, due to the recent family rifts, shy some well-loved members–and dinner Christmas Day at my Auntie Debbie’s was also a beautiful sharing of good food, a lot of laughter and love…and everyone seemed to like the sophomore attempts at artistry so those late nights weren’t a total wash. And the holiday season has not been without a good remembrance of why we really celebrate it, even if that remembrance came through a haze of fatigue.

My New Year’s resolution this year? To keep fighting against that eternal procrastinator so that I can enjoy those precious moments a little more. And a few more hours of sleep next holiday season. It may help to find that accountability partner to keep me on track. Any takers?

May god bless you & keep you!

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