Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparing For the Rest of the Holidays: Deadlines or Dreadlines?

It's upon us, folks. The wonderful holiday season is officially in full swing with Thanksgiving being tomorrow and then it's full speed ahead until Christmas. Whew! Where did the time go? I know I keep asking that, but seriously. This year has FLOWN by. Are you ready for what lies ahead? It seems I get to this point every year and wish like the dickens that I had started earlier. With everything. I'm a planner by nature, so why in the world does this time of the year send me reeling? I have a couple ideas: expectations and procrastination.

I've worked myself into a tizzy this week preparing for overnight guests and family at our house this Thanksgiving. Wait! That's not procrastination, you say! You're right. But it IS expectation. I have a sickness and it's called I-want-my-house-to-look-like-a-magazine. Unrealistic, I know. But it doesn't stop me from trying to live the dream. I like things organized and put together in an esthetically pleasing manner. Unfortunately, I take things to the extreme and don't know when to say "enough." This would give you the impression that all I do is constantly organize and that my house must look amazing. Ha! I wish. And that's where the procrastination comes in.

Nothing like "company coming" to try and tackle all the projects I've been putting OFF. Painting, rearranging, tossing... Mental note: Make a list of tasks to be done and then make a deadline to finish them THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. Not just before your company is to arrive. Before the holidays. That would seem simple enough,, right? Yeah. One would think. The planning part I've had down pat. The deadline, not so much.

For instance, wouldn't it be wonderful to have all of your Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving so you could just sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the season? I've said in the past, " start Christmas shopping in January," but I've never given myself a deadline to have it completed. I've said, "put Christmas tree up November 1st," but have never had a deadline to have the decorating COMPLETED. Therefore, I'm always running around finishing up the final touches way after the fact, driving myself and all around me insane. FYI: my tree is still not up yet. Cuz I've been painting bedrooms, and rearranging furniture and making coffee tables out of discarded items. Madness. But back to deadlines... Doesn't that make so much sense? And perhaps that's what the rest of the world does. But for me, this is a revelation.

Many of you would argue that setting a deadline for the things that are supposed to be pleasant and fun would put a spin on the holiday season that you just don't want: one of just another task to be completed or a chore. And you may just have a pretty valid point. But momma works best under pressure and on a time schedule over here. Essentially, it's just a more organized way of waiting to the last minute, nailing all of my strengths and weaknesses in one fell swoop. Genius. I can't lose!

So while I'm not finished with my Christmas shopping (heck, I haven't even STARTED yet. Gulp.), I am still going to set myself up a little Christmas schedule, complete with deadlines, to help ease the chaos that inevitably ensues with each Christmas season. What about you guys? Do you have a plan or do you wing it? Check back later for how it all goes down. I'm getting excited! Happy Turkey Day, you all!

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