Why don't you take a seat while I'm flappin' my trap?
O.K. Enough freestyle.
So, in the quest to make the most of my time so that I can have more time to myself, by myself, and for myself, I'm doing another time management experiment. It's similar to the one I've already described on this here blog, but if that one can be called Billing Time for Me, then this one can be called Billing Time for Jesus. (And if you read those last four words in a cartoonish southern accent, then you are my people.)
I am thrilled and a little afraid of what awaits me in any potential afterlife to report that Jesus gets far less time in this plan than I do. Sorry, dude!
I'm forgiven, but only because of my dope rhymes.
In fact, in contrast to the 10 - 12 hours per week minimum I'm striving to spend on self-care, I'm going to cap my Christmas prep time at 10 hours total. Period. End of story. 10 hours, and then I drop the mic like a Smarty Mutha.
Sound Grinchy? Here's why:
I'M THE GRINCH, YO!
Ha, ha! Just kidding! I'm not the Grinch (although now you're trying to remember ever having seen me and the Grinch in the same room together, aren't you?). In fact, I'm going to cap the preparation because, thanks to my perfectionism and workhorsiness (NEOLOGISM FTW!), Christmas prep for me is a never-ending task whose adherence to the Law of Diminishing returns I test and am defeated by each year. The end result is that people enjoy the festive work I do as much as they would have enjoyed festive work requiring roughly 40% less effort on my part, and I hate Christmas. My ability to turn any joyous event into a forced march is staggering, and Christmas is really my time to let that little light shine. But not so this year, friends! This year I will not fling myself into bed at 7 pm on December 25th muttering "Thank Christ" in gratitude that His birthday is almost over! Oh, no! This year I will mutter "Thank Christ" in gratitude for His birthday being AWESOME and me having pleasantly and pleasurably half-assed my way through it.
Made 'em myself!
Now, I've already stated that I'm not the Grinch, so I can't very well act like one by refusing to celebrate. Thus, actual attendance of family Christmas events is not included in the 10 hour budget. And things I like aren't included, either, so decorating the tree with my loves and drinking cocoa in front of the fire and the tree aren't counted, either. But Christmas shopping? Consider yourself tallied! Holiday cooking? Every .6 hours marked! Addressing Christmas cards? Tick tock tick tock! Designing and ordering our traditional photo calendar? Consider that clock punched!
And 10 hours isn't much. Shoot, that isn't even one of my workdays if you don't count my stories-watchin', bonbon-eatin' time. Thus, I have to be ruthlessly efficient. For example, some folks already have presents from us ready to go for the plain, simple reason that I thought of something acceptable, bought it, and now I'm done. Sure, I might stumble across a different, more ideal gift between now and Christmas, and I will look that gift in the eyes and say "Tough Titties, gift! That's what you get for being late!" So, it's highly unlikely that anyone's getting a perfect present (honestly, it's unlikely that they ever were despite my best efforts to be valedictorian of gift-giving), but they will get the knowledge that I didn't stay up too late anxiously scouring the internet when I could have been sleeping or reading or writing or otherwise giving myself the gift of my own time.
And I'm not making anything. We have Target for that.
And I'm no one's Secret Santa. We have Regular Santa for that.
And I'm not filling my house with the aroma of freshly-baked pumpkin pies. We have Yankee Candle for that.
But I will be at SLB's firm's holiday party. Because they have an open bar for that.
Also a Renaissance Faire-themed buffet.
Because, Goddammit, I deserve to enjoy the season as much as anyone. Because I'm a person, too. And it's time to start acting like one.
10 hours. The anti-Malcolm Gladwell. BRING IT, FATHER CHRISTMAS. You're no match for a Smarty Mommy.