Ah, New Year’s – the fresh beginning everyone has been waiting for, resolving to spend the next 12 months eating healthier/exercising more/focusing on family/focusing on their career/insert-potential-achievement-here. I sort of think resolutions are crap, but I am not in charge of judging someone else’s beliefs (which, consequently, is one of my resolutions).
When you realize there’s something you want to change, I believe that you should start changing it. Rightthatsecond. (I may also be working on my impulsive tendencies.) You don’t need to wait until Monday or the 1st of the month or until the New Year. Be like Nike. Just do it.
For example, a couple months ago, I realized how over-the-top I am with everything. I’ve been this way my whole life, but hosting our first Thanksgiving is when I truly recognized it. Instead of baking a couple basic pies, typical Heather would want to make 5-6 extravagant pies. Who needs cherry-pie-from-a-can when you can have fresh cherry-pear with homemade crust and a brown sugar glaze (I just made that pie up. Just right now. Invented it. It doesn’t sound very delicious, does it?) Along with the usual Thanksgiving sides, I’d want to make homemade sweet potato soufflé and four appetizers and homemade dinner rolls.
For whatever reason – most likely the stress of having both sets of parents over while The Husband and I tried not to mess up the most important meal of the year – I stepped away from myself this year and realized that I didn’t have to do that. I don’t ALWAYS have to go above and beyond. I used that same theory when it came to baking Christmas cookies and bringing dishes to various holiday events. Guess what guys! Turns out that NOT over-committing yourself leads to a pretty stress-free holiday. Who would have known?
I have also actively been working on not being the boss of every situation. Those who know me know how especially hard this is for me. I blame it on my childhood. My “independence” and tendency to oversee and schedule all play between me, my siblings and cousins was rarely discouraged. This continued throughout school, when I was often the person to take charge during group projects (I was also the one writing and directing Babysitter’s Club plays, but that’s a blog entry for a different day.)
My personality quickly molded into one of “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
But being in control of and awesome at everything all the time is sort of stressful. So I have actively been telling myself NOT to step up and take charge all the time. It is hard. It’s very hard, actually, not to open my mouth and throw in my two cents. It’s hard not to get anxious when someone else DOES step up to the plate, and then doesn’t do things the way I would. But it’s not always my place to take over and I’m trying to remember that.
I’m happy and fortunate to have a whole, new year to work on it. You know, while I’m also working on eating less junk and getting to the gym more often.
I’ve wrote about this before, but my sister and I loved Wizard of Oz growing up. I was maybe 6 or 7 when my grandparents and aunts bought me the Wizard of Oz 50th Anniversary collectors set Barbie dolls for my birthday. Now, I may have been young, but I knew that collector’s editions were nothing to mess around with.
I would take Dorothy and her gang CAREFULLY out of their boxes, look at them and put them back. I would NEVER dream of taking them into the bathtub, like I did with Skipper. Dorothy was too good to consort with the likes of Barbie, never riding in the pink convertible. And she wouldn’t be caught dead in the dream house with Ken. No, my Wizard of Oz dolls stayed in their boxes, on a literal pedestal in my bedroom (Ok, it was my dresser. But pedestal sounded better.) They were to be cherished, not to be played with.
And there they stayed, until my 4-year-old sister got her hands on them.
I came home from school to find the destruction. I walked into my room to find that nobody from Oz – or Kansas – was in their rightful box. **The Lion’s red badge of courage was on the floor. Scarecrow’s diploma? Torn in half. I walked further into the room and found Tinman. Poor Tinman. His silver face was now covered in green Crayola marker and he was wearing Glinda’s crown.
And then – then I found Dorothy. Her hair, which used to be two soft braids held together by blue checkered fabric, was now a snarly, knotted mess. Her face had also met the same destruction as Tinman’s – destroyed by my very own green Crayola marker.
And then I proceeded to hold a grudge against my sister for twenty years.
On Christmas Day this year, I opened a large box from Sara. Inside, on top of tissue paper, was a note. “I hope that now you can forgive me for ruining your original ones.”
I started crying.
I knew what was inside.
Apparently, she has been scouring the internet for years, looking for the set. Not that bad of a sister, I guess.
** Some details of this event have been fabricated in my imagination over time. However, Sara DID take all of the dolls out of their box, ruin their hair, color them with green marker and thereby ensured that she would be the recipient of my longest grudge to date.
I do not have my own office. I used to have my own office, which I took for granted. I complained that there were no windows. I whined about the bright yellow paint. I stomped my feet and made them move the copy machine out of there, so that nobody had a reason to come in and bother me.
Last year, the owners of the company decided that corporate management was too spread out over different buildings (which was true) and moved us to one location (which was a smart move on their part). While becoming centralized, we were all downgraded from our own offices to large-ish cubicles.
There is nothing private about working in a cubicle. If The Husband calls me, I scurry into an empty conference room to chat. I don’t do it because I’m worried that people will over hear the details of my call – deciding what we are having for dinner is not the most intimate of conversations. But the mundaneness of it is EXACTLY why I scurry. Who wants to listen to someone else discuss what meats are thawing in the sink? Who wants to hear me ask The Husband the same thing I ask him every day (“Did Bumble chew anything?”)
My consideration for my co-workers (a couple of whom I actually like, believe it or not) keeps me from annoying them with these daily phone calls.
Not all co-workers are as considerate.
I don’t want to hear about whom your girlfriend slept with last night. I don’t want to hear about your kid’s day at school. I don’t care that your children are fighting, or that neither of them will throw in a load of laundry for you. I’m not waiting on pins and needles, hoping that you and your mother decide who is making what for Christmas Eve.
If you need to give your husband a grocery list; if you are compelled to verbally debate your different lunch options; if you have to call your doctor to discuss test results – do it in a different room.
I don’t want to hear about. He doesn’t want to hear about it. She doesn’t want to hear about it, either. Have some consideration for those around you. Believe it or not, sound travels over these gray monochrome half-walls of ours.
While I appreciate the pictures that everyone posts, and the creative ideas that they come up with, I’m going to stand firm on my belief that the Elf on the Shelf is creepy. First of all, growing up, I imagined a North Pole full of very short people or, well, midgets. Think Benard from The Santa Clause or all the magical, little guys in the Jaclyn Smith classic, The Night They Saved Christmas. I don’t like the idea that Santa’s elves are these creepy, small, cousins-of-Chuckie like dolls. I especially don’t like that they sneak around your house, watching your every move. What happened to the good-old-days, when Santa just watched you from his magic, Wicked-Witch-of-the-West-esque ball? Because that was a real thing. Right?
What is up with the morals they were pushing in the Claymation holiday movies of the late ‘60s? Or, lack thereof, I should say. Rudolph is 14 seconds old and Donner is already ashamed of him. C’mon now. Give him time to grow, and shame your family by flashing his goods at spring break or being caught with marijuana, like most normal kids. You’re going to give him flack because his nose glows? Guess what, Mr. and Mrs. Donner – that nose didn’t just come out of nowhere. You guys made him. Which one of you messed up?
Also, how come it’s cool for Coach Comet to encourage the other reindeer to laugh at Rudolph? If that happened today, he wouldn’t have time for games because he’d be prancing through lawsuit papers, that’s what. Santa also isn’t very welcoming, only accepting Rudolph’s “individuality” when it’s convenient for him at the end. Santa, I love you and I’m sure you have a lot on your mind. That is why I will forgive you for not IMMEDIATELY thinking “Hmm. It sort of makes sense to have a bright light guiding this sleigh, now doesn’t it?”
What are they teaching children up north? (Is Hermie a child? I’m unclear on the schematics of elf biology. I DO know that he isn’t scary elf-on-the-shelf size. Which is good.) Rudy and Hermie bump into a gypsy-esque gold-digger (who has a questionable beard) and within MINUTES, they’re both on his sleigh, riding off into the sunset (or, a creepy basement). Stranger. Danger!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – A Very Brady Christmas is one of the best Christmas movies of all time and I will fight you on this, so don’t even try.
We’re getting our tree this weekend, which is very exciting for me. Since The Husband and I pretty much jet-setted around the world this year, we have several new ornaments that I’m itching to put on the tree. I bet you wished that you had a recycled-tin-dolphin-wearing-a-Santa-hat-made-by-a-local-in-Roatan, Honduras but you don’t. Probably. If you do, we should start a very exclusive club. With t-shirts.
Well, folks, we are still very early in the season, so I’m sure I will be back with a couple more holiday posts, so don’t you fret my pet (whatup Urkel?!)