Monday, November 22, 2010

We Are the Grown-Ups Now

I am so not in the holiday spirit this year.  In fact, I'm more than a little annoyed they exist at all, selfishly managing to intrude upon my hard-earned hobbitt hole time.  Thanksgiving looms on the horizon as nothing more than a grim reminder that I forgot to buy a turkey in time for it to thaw properly.  That means either buying a fresh one or paying someone else to cook one for me.  Or we could eat ham.

Why do I hear a Marie Antionette-like echo in the distance?

Perhaps it has to do with years of programming.  I am learning the delicate art of self-employment (in the arts, no less) coming from a family, and a world in general, that's ruthlessly corporate and thus runs on corporate time.  Now that D has launched his own LLC (in the arts, no less), we have double the creativity, double the strange hours, and double the stress.

Yes, stress.  Who knew that creativity and being able to set your own hours created a unique kind of stress?  Part of it is predictably financial; being self-employed means an erratic income stream.  That's no different from any number of professions, though.  But being able to set your own hours upsets some people very much.  If I pull three ten p.m. to eight a.m. shifts in a row because I have a deadline coming up, and crash during "normal" lunch hours, and someone like, oh, say, the FedEx guy comes by, it's shocking the kind of dirty look you'll get.  I mean, how dare I sleep from eight a.m. 'til noon?  Don't I know there's a recession? Nevermind that the hypothetical FedEx guy just woke me up during what my body is screaming at me is the middle of my night... my bright, sunny night when the television is infested wth cartoon characters and talk shows...

Come to think of it, I like vampire hours just fine.

But the holidays are like some vast global reminder that everyone must stop and celebrate the same approximate thing at the same approximate time every year.  Whether it's religous or secular or even plain 'ol material, the globe pauses to take a collective breath around this time of year.  Which is nice.  Sorta.  I usually like it.  Hobbitt hole time.  Fuzzy socks and pretty lights, family, good food, and presents.  And people are usually in a pretty good mood.

But this year, I have a deadline.  I forgot about the turkey.  I will have to remember, and often repeat, a life-saving mantra taught to me by a much wiser soul:

We are the grown-ups now.  We can change the rules.

If that means eating out for Thanksgiving, then so be it.  But more likely it will mean Thanksgiving ham and Publix pumpkin pie, with an early resolution to do better next year.