The world we live in is insane. So busy, so materialistic, so exhausting, so expensive - especially as Christmas approaches. Each year, I swear that I'll scale back. Fewer gifts, less crazy. I thought it would be a little easier this year, since one brother and I decided not to exchange gifts and my other brother is incarcerated again (a story for another day). But there's a crack in the door of my office, and if I dare peek I can see boxes stacked as high as my head. It's good I'm only 5'3". There are things for my most darling and perfect husband, my sons, and my daughter. The girl gets a ukulele. The boys get expensive hoodies and tall, garish socks. I can't put what the Cute Husband gets because there's a decent chance he'll read this, and he hates spoilers. I've stayed up late at night baking cookies that didn't turn out so well, rushed around to parties, and spent more than I want to think about. And why? Part of it is the joy that will surely be on everyone's faces come Christmas morning. But then it's over, and the inevitable post-holiday doldrums set in.
We used to joke about the dysfunction in our family being my aforementioned brother (the prison one, not the decent one). But sometimes I wonder if stressing out around holidays, not to mention the rest of the year, is the real dysfunction. Is this what people were intended to do? Work a lot, buy stuff, sleep only 5 or 6 hours a night, then do it all again the next day? To have to squeeze in exercise? I really don't think so. Burnout hovers right at the edge of my aura (or whatever the fine line around my body is - maybe a halo?), and sometimes dips its horrible fingers in. Total dysfunction.
My resolution this year is to put more fun to this dysfunctional life. The question is how to do that when I live in a flyover state and I have to work full time to pay for stuff. I created a writer's club (Courtney's Wicked Good Writers Salon and Wine Chugging Club) in the hopes of laughing all the time with fellow creatives. I'm writing the second Cate book, and also the beginnings of a YA novel. I signed up for a half marathon. I also plan to steal my dear friend Julie's idea of doing 216 new things in 2016, and sharing them all with you. That's an average of .59 new things every day. I'd like to encourage all of you to try this exercise as well - be mindful to find the fun in dysfunctional until the fun is the norm. First on my list? At least 3 consecutive days of 8+ hours of sleep at night. This will clear my head to move forward with gusto into the new year. Can't wait for the Fun Project to kick off. Anyone want to join me?
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and elementary high-ability teacher. Her first novel, Cate in Flux, was released December 10! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.