36 minute respite

I can’t remember last Sunday.

That’s how busy the past week has been.

From work to holiday prep, I readied myself each morning with a quick mental layout of the day to help keep my sanity.

It worked. For the most part.

At the moment, I’m in a brief respite — no one home except the dog… Christmas songs being crooned from the Alexa … and enjoying the newly-assembled┬áholiday decorations. This? Is bliss. It isn’t going to last much longer. Jeff and Bobby will be home soon, and we’ll settle in to watch some NFL for the remainder of the afternoon. They left to meet up with Jeff’s brother at Taco Bell, which we never visit. The thing is, Bobby recently realized he was the only one of all his siblings to have never eaten at Taco Bell. Personally, I’d have worn that feather in my cap pretty darn proudly (no offense TB), but he was determined to try it out. We made several attempts, but plans always managed to fall through at the last minute. Last week, with family over, there was an exchange during which James (Jeff’s brother) waved a Taco Bell receipt at Bobby, inadvertently rubbing it in that he’d never had it. James truly felt bad, and promised to take him on the maiden voyage at some point. That point, turns out, was this afternoon.

I imagine right about now Bobby’s downing a chicken soft taco, chasing it with a Baja Blast.

But for now — it’s so calm. A stark contrast to the last six days. The perfect snippet of time to breathe and think about how truly thankful I am for the things that made me so busy. Today we sent off two of the kids — one back to Purdue, and the other to her new apartment in Manhattan. Neither wanted the short holiday break to end, but they’ll be back in a few weeks for Christmas. Until then, it’s back to the daily grind–work, school, classes–until we’re all together again. The break in the busyness of last week is giving me perspective on the upcoming holiday. I’m a planner by nature, and that fact saved me from a mental breakdown on many occasions. However, I’m going to try setting aside about 20-30 minutes at the end of each day to assess the ol’ To Do list, and stay on track. We’ve got a short, four-day family vacation after Christmas, and I would love to just relax and enjoy it, rather than feel like I’m constantly getting duck in a row.

How do you prep for the holidays? Are there any tried-and-true methods that keep your head above water and a smile on your face? If it isn’t anything too top-secret, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

Oh, and if you check in here once in a while (usually wondering why in the world a writer can’t manage to keep writing on her own blog), don’t be a stranger. I’m going to be trying out this space for some creative projects very soon!

UPDATE: Bobby’s full report on his first Taco Bell meal was summed up as he walked in the door: “It. Was. Awesome.” He also came home with souvenirs — three packets each of Fire! and Mild sauce. And, as he peered over my shoulder to the laptop screen, he affirmed he did, indeed, have a Baja Blast, and “drank it like it was his job.”

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