Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Holidays (after Age 18)

Each year, the holiday season comes by more quickly.  Given our trip, a late Thanksgiving/start of shopping season, and the daily grind, I feel that it has truly snuck up on me this year.  I mean, I saw lots of Christmas decorations in Japan, but somehow, it's mid-December, and I'm still scrambling along.

I had some dismal shopping failures recently that really made my anxiety spike.  The first was at a craft store; after circling the area multiple times and getting within scary proximity of other cars with incompetent drivers behind the wheel (even more than me, which is shocking), I decided to abandon my mission, wasting 30 minutes of time that is so precious these days.  The second happened after visiting my parents -- I decided to make a stop on the way home, but as I got there, I got a "the store is closing in 15 minutes" warning, lines jutting to the back of the store.  That was definitely not enough time for me, so I started putting everything down in a panic, yet somehow still browsing until the store closed.  I've been trying to shop online more, but there are certain things that should be seen in person... within the mob circling Target.

My fancy holiday work party is this weekend, and I can't say I'm looking forward to it as much as I had hoped.  I really should have sought out a makeup artist, but it was tough to secure someone affordable.  Plus, it seems like no matter how much effort I put in, I look frumpy all the time.  My feet hurt a lot these days.  My dress was purchased over a year ago, on a whim in New York and hasn't surfaced since, so I have no idea how that will go.  Also, a lack of exercise has made changed my body shape, I think.  At least this gnarly rash I had is clearing up so that people won't wonder whether I ate radioactive fish while I was overseas. 

If only Christmas was about spending time together, baking, and watching children enjoy the holiday....  I guess I used to be one of those children, but now I'm old and don't really mind whether someone gives me something that I could probably buy myself if I needed/wanted it that badly.  Maybe this mentality will change if I have children of my own.  "The Ukrainian" asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said, "More time to relax" and "To have my friends choose any other cuisine but stinky, meat-y Korean BBQ for a gathering."  Cue Ebenezer Scrooge.

In addition, the anxieties multiply when your family grows.  When it's your biological family, it's easy to "come as you are," but once you've attended your third Thanksgiving meal, you start to feel the weight (pun intended) of having in-laws upon in-laws that require separate dinners for each subset.  Then, the "when are the babies coming?" question dampens the mood until we can brave the traffic home.  Also, time to shop for more gifts, yay.

Overall, though, the holidays are nice.  The weather is cooler, for one, and I'm one of those odd people who enjoys the sub-40s Fahrenheit that other Southern Californians find apocalyptic.  Yes, the uncharacteristic temperature have nudged me to skip workouts in a time that I already don't do enough of them, but there is something so nice about enjoying the comforts of home, seeing all the lights, and doing all that traditional stuff that brings you back to childhood.  I just wish that I had started shopping earlier, and that I could realize that being shoved into really isn't worth fuming over.

Oh yeah, I have a marathon in five weeks, and it has been a month since I've run over 10 miles.  Stay tuned for an comical/abysmal race review soon...

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