The holidays, when everything important to your business, your work, your sanity, and your sense of self, slows down. Then family, in all it's various shades of WHAT?!? speeds up and threatens to consume you. Thanksgiving is the first mark and starts the ball rolling. There's the shopping for gifts (which for most folks is with money you haven't got, for many people you really don't like)... which, if you've done it the easiest way (purely my opinion!) you've picked up things along the way all year so all you have to do by Christmas Eve is wrap stuff. Then you decide whose house you're going to, which includes who's cooking and what that's going to look like, (isn't so-and-so vegan now?). Who's coming in from out of town and where are they going to sleep? Once it's all over, the sigh of relief is audible. Hopefully everybody is still speaking. And folks from out of town begin to bail. New Year's is still coming, but the family fanfare is much less, so some semblance of normal, whatever that is, can be attempted.
For a writer, it's all about writing. I've written a few words over the last couple of weeks, but not nearly as many as I hoped. It's quite obvious that The Conductor will now be released in 2020. That's OK, new year, new book. Haven't even had the energy or the attention span to write a blog... until today anyway. Like most of the people I know, I've had the stomach bug, and the upper respiratory bug that was raging through my known community connections. Glad that's done. So, now what? Ok, I write. And I read. And I write some more. Moving my deadlines, getting words onto the pages. That's the name of my game. At least that's the plan. But wait, the words aren't flowing. What's the deal? TV is always boring this time of year, I haven't even turned it on, so that's no excuse or distraction. Grandkids aren't here, and I'd have to leave the house to go see them, another distraction down. There's no lack of ideas which I've been writing in the margins of things I've been reading, from the church bulletin to the mail. Can't use that excuse either. Well, then, what's the problem? Why haven't I written anything but this blog today?
I think it's just time of year, all by itself. The end of the year. And this year it's also the end of the decade. It's a time of reflection. You look back over the last year, then the last ten years and ask "What have I accomplished?" Perhaps there's no really big 'thing' in answer to that question. But, I bet there's a lot of little things you can list. From being able to get up in the morning, open your eyes, stretch and take a deep breath, to knowing that you have a place to come home to and somebody you can call who will say 'I love you'. There are always little things you can list. This is the time when you count your blessings, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant they might seem to someone else. Because that doesn't matter. What matters is that you can make a list of tiny things that helped you be who you are and where you are right at this moment. And, it doesn't matter how it stacks up against anybody else's list, because it's yours and it's personal.
So, writing this blog for you, and considering my list of tiny accomplishments for the last decade; I'm OK with not writing anything else today. We still have a few days left for contemplation and review of our own personal triumphs, no matter how small they might be. Then, on January 1st, maybe I can go for my normal. We'll see what happens. I hope your holidays haven't worn you out, and that you've still got some happy left once all the company, wrapping paper, and unreasonable expectations are gone.