Monday, November 29, 2010

Eek! The Holidays are Upon Us!

Thank goodness Thanksgiving is over… oh, wait, now I've got Yule and Christmas to plan for???

And _______ has a grand plan to do Really Awesome thing for _____ that I need to help with…

Deep breath.

And _______ is having a party.

So is ________.

Another.  Deep breath.

And I've got an editing deadline?

And when I REALLY DID intend to put my tax info together before now.  Well, it's all sorted into envelopes?  Yeah, I've sorted it into envelopes year round for the past three years… but my envelopes are better categorized this year?

I mean it this time:  DEEEEEEEP BREATH!

I have a horse!  :)  She puts me in the Now and lowers my blood pressure. That's great - but I have to cover the year end expenses and follow up with the vet!

-Gives self a stern look-

Deeeeeeeeeeeeeep Breaaaath.

Did I even mention my writing and the fact I did NOT finish my novel in November and I did NOT make 25 submissions? 

Yes, but I DID make 11, with one two more days left.  And, so far, *knocks wood,* only one novel rejection and two short story rejections so far.

And I DID get writing DONE on the novel.

Seriously, it's the holidays.  You're supposed to be sharing good will and charity.  And that includes yourself, Me.  (And anyone else who's listening.)

Yes, there are priorities and obligations with friends and family.  And y'know what? Right now those people I'm close with and care about among friends and family don't expect me to be perfect.  They expect me to be me, well, an eccentric, somewhat scatterbrained, but caring individual.  A writer - hell, most of them identify as writers, and I don't hold them to levels of perfection.  That's why we're close.  Those that hold me to unrealistic expectations (or, rather, unrealistic if you know me), well they'll be disappointed… and why should I care?

I've got priorities for stuff I'm paid to do.  Y'know what?  The abovementioned people placed above this priority get that.  And I know they've got mortgages, bills… basic necessities of food and family, too. 

I've got priorities for the causes I'm passionate about.  The people who pay me may "get" that, but I still need to get work done.  The people I care about also get that, and usually are willing to work with me around these things.  I do the same for them.

I've got to write my stories.  In my heart, this priority is two steps up, but in my mind I know I need to pay for things and that other people depend on my contribution to websites and fundraisers and that writing.

My heart is actually in a lot of places.  Most of my paid gigs I do not just for money but because I care about the stories, individuals, and missions associated with the gig.  Of course, it's also with my friends and family - with whom I've spent the past few days happily offline.

It's exhausting to be passionate. 

It's also fulfilling, amazing, and mind-blowingly awesome. 

I spent almost 3 hours tonight trying to figure out how to make a fan page on Facebook for the Bay State Equine Rescue.  I wanted to do it right so people could see what we did in their newsfeeds.  There was a lot of deleting and re-doing, and a lot of Google-ing and research, and I threw my whole self into this project.  I'm happy to have figured it out (so it appears), and do hope everyone goes to the page and Likes it. 

But I didn't get much else done besides answering email.

Those of us who are passionate throw every atom of our being into whatever project we're working on: making a fan page, writing an article, editing a website, baking cookies. 

For things we can rein in our passion on (like most emails and spaces between full-throttle-passion-engaged projects), we can multitask.  Once we're in the throes of a project, or even a part of a project with a beginning, middle, and end, it's often to the temporary exclusion of most else.  (A ringing phone, for example, will break my concentration and garner a glance at caller-id to see if it's a potentially life-or-death situation… I would assume fire alarms would too, but I'm happy to say I haven't had to test that.)

With the holidays, there are so many projects and so many priorities that I throw my whole self into, that I'm passionate about, that I so easily make myself sick when I ought to be enjoying and celebrating the passion I can share. 

I'm not alone in this, either.  In fact, most of the people I know & care about make themselves sick over the holidays.

Why?  How can we get around it?  What are ways we can remind ourselves that we should be celebrating our passions and loves?  What do we do to minimize feeling forced to perform for people and things we aren't passionate about or that we don't love?

I'll keep reminding myself of what I said before.  The people who I care about and who care about me understand… and I need to remind them of that, too. 

Celebrate the people and things you're passionate about during whatever holiday you celebrate (or don't celebrate) this December.  And let the people with whom you share true love and friendship with celebrate however they need.  And we should remind each other that we're doing this.  Because we care.  Because we all have things we're passionate about.

Happy December!


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