A Thankful Holiday Season

Every year, I love the holidays. I look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, and not just the days themselves, but the days in between, where there is just this sense in the air of hope and anticipation and joy and truly “the most wonderful time of the year.” Christmastime, of course, is my favorite.

I hope this Christmas will be seasons better than this Thanksgiving turned out to be.

No, no details. Suffice it to say that my Thanksgiving ended on a very emotional note that left me saying, and at least partly meaning, “I hate the holidays.”

No. It isn’t true. Thankfully, because Christmas will surely sneak up on me, as it does every year now. I probably won’t be ready, but I guess all that matters is spending time with the people I care about, and not so much being ready with gifts. Gifts can come later.

Thanksgiving left me feeling not at all thankful, but the truth is I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Let me count the ways…

  • That there is even a holiday season to celebrate
  • My relationship with Dylan, and our fur baby, Penny
  • My parents will be home
  • My job at Arte Público Press
  • Having stumbled upon the lovely Kimberly Wilson—my new lifestyle guru—and her beautiful website, podcast, and blog
  • Bella Grace magazine—and a special thank-you to my Nonnie for gifting me a subscription for Christmas!
  • Seven Deadly Sins anime, and SDS fan fiction, my new guilty pleasure (Dylan said I jumped into an entirely new level of “nerd” with that one, a level that neither he nor any of his friends—whom I would often collectively refer to as nerds—have never reached)
  • The freedom to be myself in that respect, and to admit it on my blog because it makes me happy and damn it I don’t care who knows

and many, many more. It would take too long to list everything.

But now, let’s revisit that last one for a moment, to kick off a list of hopes and dreams for the holidays and some for the New Year:

  • Maybe to be myself a little more, without caring so much about what other people think, including my parents—not disrespectfully, of course—(#sorrynotsorry)
  • Write more, including blog posts, my fan fiction story, and work more on other ideas I have
  • Read more, including one or two French books, or at least watch one or two French movies
  • Try not to over-schedule myself quite as much, but I anticipate a lot of trouble with this one
  • Be calmer and more present in the moment
  • Go through my clothes and clutter; possibly try to create more of a capsule wardrobe
  • Do more inexpensive things with Dylan, such as picnics or museum outings, movie nights in where we cook, etc.
  • Buy healthier options next time I’m at the grocery store
  • DRINK MORE WATER—which is exactly why I bought my motivational water bottle, after all
  • Finish paying off my credit card and next time, buy an iTunes card instead
  • Get the church library books (900+) back on the shelves and organized before Christmas Eve service

The holidays always feel like a very busy time of year. Now that my fall semester at UH has ended, it has slowed down some, and that helps, but I always find myself a few days before Christmas running around trying to put together presents last-minute, finalize plans, bake cookies, etc. On top of that, the past two years, I’ve gotten sick with allergies or a cold or mild flu around the same time, so I’ll have to run around while not feeling 100%, and each Christmas Day, I’ve ended up having to take a nap at Dylan’s house in the afternoon to recover a little. Prayers, well wishes, and good vibes would be very much appreciated, in the hope that that doesn’t happen again this year!

As it is, this week already feels a little busy; the featured photo is from the planner page I’m currently on. I’d like to include a link to my Instagram in order to share what I wrote about that this morning, but my account is currently private, so I’ll just pen it here:

“I used to keep track of things in my head. But as soon as I went back to work at #ArtePúblicoPress, I had to start writing them down again. Now I write down things I want to do as well as things I have to do, and I think this way, it makes them more likely to happen. Thank you for cute planners and colorful highlighters, because it’s always easier to look at a pretty, fun #todolist and not feel as overwhelmed. Like life. Life is short, so make it pretty and fun as much as possible. You’ll feel better for it. I know I do.”

(Also, a special note to Dylan now, who commented Sunday night that I use too many commas: you’re right, as I noticed while copying that quote from Instagram to this blog post; I had to edit that piece on Instagram twice to get rid of two unnecessary commas.)

Maybe I should add that to my list above: be more comma-conscious! 😉

And a thank you for pointing that out. 🙂

Tous les jours

Bonjour ! C’est vendredi, et je suis retourné au travail…

I wonder how much more proficient my French could become if I were to write my journal entries en français. Obviously it would probably be counterproductive to blog in French, though, because none of my readers would be able to read it. But it was just a thought.

So I will translate that first sentence for you: “Hello! It is Friday, and I’ve returned to work.” Which…I have, actually, and it’s really nice to be back. Maybe I can’t totally say that I’ve returned to work because when I did work here over the summer, it was an internship, and not an actual paid job position, which it is now, but the point is, I sit at the same desk—which I’ve started decorating to create my own space, and I need to go to Hobby Lobby this weekend for flowers and glitter—in the same Arte Público Press office, doing some of the same work, with most of the same people. My boss, Marina, told me that she would eventually like to have me start doing some new things, but for now, she says, “we’re so behind” and that the only thing keeping her from going crazy is knowing that I’m coming in to work to complete some of those projects. I’ll admit it, though: I really actually don’t mind the spreadsheets. The review mail-out I worked on yesterday is a little more of a hassle, but it’s also nice to just start back doing a few of the same tasks, because I know them. As she said when she introduced me to Jamie, our office coordinator who is a guy but the whole time we were emailing about the process of hiring me I thought he was a girl, “Thank God, I don’t have to train her!” …Yes. Thank God.

And while on that note, TGIFATFIFO! (Thank God It’s Friday And That Friday Is Finally Over!) Except, my weekend now must be spent with a fairly extensive To Do list, at the top of which is finish my study guide for Tuesday’s French test, and carry it around with me, and, truthfully, toward the bottom of which priority-wise is “make time to take care of me.” Maybe it’s lucky that I’ll end up procrastinating on most of the homework, because maybe sometime while I’m doing that, I’ll slip in a journal entry, or a manicure, or a bed day, and I will feel better for doing so. Special thank you goes out to Kimberly Wilson for the express permission via Twitter to have a bed day! Not to fan-girl too much, but I recently discovered her through Bella Grace Magazine—remember how much I love that publication?—and I’ve subscribed to her podcast, Tranquility du Jour, and I listen to it on my way to and from work and school, stuck in Houston traffic at least three and a half days each week. It’s amazing. She’s amazing. She also FOLLOWED me on Twitter, which made me really excited—!

—Okay, deep breath…there. I will be zen.

And now that I can check “update my blog” off my list with one of my favorite highlighters—Zebra Eco Zebrite Double-Ended, designed not to bleed even through Bible pages—I am going to brush my hair, light one of my three-wick candles from Bath & Body Works, and read, or journal, or write…or maybe work on my test review, but probably not that one.

That’s okay. 😉