Thursday, December 28, 2006

Martha Stewart Meltdown

So Christmas is finally done... relatively speaking. From the day after Thanksgiving, I have been in an unconscious race to Achieve Holiday Social Perfection, and had almost accomplished it, until I collapsed on Christmas Eve.

I can't even begin to ennumerate all the stuff I did in the last month... but you know I'm gonna try!

  • writing, designing, printing, addressing, and mailing over 100 Christmas cards
  • celebrating my 38th birthday several times (I'm grateful, really!)
  • getting all the presents for family and friends
  • social events or rehearsals every night
  • MULTIPLE church choir & music performances
  • party food preparation
  • more church music
  • more social events
Not to forget, I also started a short-term project for my brother Cy's company, so I took on more work while maintaining my regular clients. I think I worked every Saturday in December!

So, Christmas Eve arrives; I get up at 6 am to sing at both services, and after my favorite Sunday lunch over Entertainment Weekly at the Logan's bar with my friend Pam the bartender, I head home for a nice nap, before baking cookies for the family buffet the next day, a potluck around 6 pm with my Sunday Supper Club at the Landers', and another performance with the Choir at the 10 pm service that night. I am congratulating myself on the drive home for having arrived at the big day without any emotional angst, and for having accomplished all my Holiday goals. I should mention, I am not aware of ever having made any conscious decision to do all this... it just sortof happened.

I sleep for an hour or so, awake exhausted, and promptly dissolve into a panic attack. After crying off and on for a half-hour, I feel somewhat better, but still overwhelmed by what I have left to accomplish. I call to excuse myself from the potluck with friends, which I hated doing but was absolutely necessary to regain sanity. I bake no cookies. I lie, squashed, on the sofa and watch The Return of the King, and pretend that I won't do the 10 pm service, despite the fact that I know I will have to go, since we are short on altos, and there's a special Canticorum piece to be done which I am really necessary for.

By the time I leave for a run-through at 9 pm, I'm able to function, but find myself petulant, whiny, and ill-inclined to have any reverence for the significance of the service whatsoever. It turns out that I am even more necessary than I thought, since 2 of the 4 Canticorum altos are absent and I must immediately learn the 1st alto part. I do not completely manage to do so, but the illusion is maintained.

I am also pressed into service to be one of the 3 miked singers for the service music, which I actually enjoy since it was with my friend Rebecca who is a marvelous soprano. Singing with her always feels like a reward for good behavior. Not that my behavior this evening will be good...

I get through the 3 hours of run-through and service, although at one point I seem to recollect that during the full choir & congregation Carol Singing, I sang the words "Thi-is is, the song, tha-at ne-ver will end..." during "The First Nowell" (It felt like there were a dozen verses! Honestly!) I am also a little punchy on the mikes, and I believe I threatened David before we sang the Lord's Prayer, saying that I OWNED the harmonies on this song, so he'd better not sing what I was singing.

We finish up at full blast, and I go home in punch-drunk euphoria, and sleep for 9 hours. On Christmas Day, I am able to resume all of my baking responsibilities and manage to make everything I had planned for the family Christmas that night. Orange Spice Shortbread with Orange Glaze and Almonds, Tuxedo Cheesecake Bars, and Raspberry Popcorn Balls for the kids.

So it's pretty much all done... and I am in emotional flux since I haven't taken 5 minutes to deal with the fact that it's the end of another year, which always shakes me up a bit (Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing? Have I accomplished anything worthwhile this year? Am I supposed to go help refugees in the Sudan?) Plus my allergies are acting up, and I ate enough sweets and junk this month to send me into a diabetic coma.

Have I mentioned that I'm going to Chicago most of next week to work for the AEA during their yearly conference? No?

I need a vacation.

1 comment:

Mike Howell said...

AEA? Sounds.... boring. Except for the Chicago part. No, actually that sounds boring too. Maybe I'm just boring...

So what kind of work are you doing there?