12.10.13

It has been quite a day. An ice/snow storm to start things off, which was beautiful, but shot my morning plan to hell, because Randy was home, and it wasn't exactly fair to ask him to tiptoe around and not watch the local news reports on the weather to see when he could venture downtown because I had a PLAN. Which meant I ended up online until he left, but he scooted at 9 or so, and I got down to work at 9:15.

1250 net before lunch. This is a good thing. Dani Shapiro wrote an essay called Gravy, in which she talks about Donald Hall's memoir LIFE'S WORK. He discusses his perfect day, which sums up to he gets up really early and does his work. By 10 a.m., he's finished the creative stuff, and the rest of the day is gravy.

This is my PLAN. Morning writing, no matter what, so I am guaranteed decent word counts. And on days like today, where the disruptions are massive - ice storm, afternoon haircut, wallowing about Christmas - this habit served me well.

Now look away, this next bit is rather personal. 

I bought a Christmas tree this evening. I wasn't going to this year - what with the kittens, and the travel plans, it seemed silly to decorate the house for two weeks. And when you don't put up a tree, there's no reason to do much else. But CC's house was awe inspiringly decorated, like an incredible fancy Christmas shop, and a friend asked how I was handling the kittens with my tree, and I told her I'd forgone the tree, and she mentioned her three kids and why that wasn't an option.

It burned. It did. We don't have kids, but not through any choice of our own. Child-oriented holidays are... difficult. Happily, I get to go to my parents and BE the child, which helps, but it's still hard sometimes. We do all sorts of things to alleviate this externally, with charities and such, but internally, well, I've become a bit apathetic toward Christmas. And Halloween. 

Which is rather stupid, because I adore both holidays. 

Christmas is also difficult because I'm on deadline, every year, without fail, so I don't have the month to dedicate to getting in the spirit of things. It's the 10th now, and I have most of my shopping done, but that's it. No cards written, no carols sung. CBS aired Rudolph the night before Thanksgiving, so I have to stream it. I did buy a wad of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips and candy canes for peppermint bark, and hung my favorite wreath, the felt leaves with the mommy and daddy cardinal, above the fireplace, where it nestles into the tibetan prayer bells I put up for Christmas two years ago and never took down.  

And now I have a tree.

I want to thank my anonymous friend here for her comment this morning. I was shaken, all day, recognizing I was using the kittens as an excuse, a whopping, nasty big excuse, and that the real reason I didn't want to put up a tree is my own apathy, my own demon I need to wrestle with. And the only way to wrestle demons is to face them head on.

Thank you, darling husband, for jumping headlong into the Christmas tree lot on a moment's notice tonight, and helping me pick out a lovely little spruce that looks so pretty in the bookcase corner, Buddha sitting beside him. 

And fuck you, holiday apathy. I am done with you.

Now, where are those lights?

Sweet dreams!

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JT Ellison

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of fifteen critically acclaimed thrillers and is the co-author of the Nicholas Drummond series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. With over a million books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-five countries and thirteen languages. She is also the co-host of A Word on Words, Nashville's premier literary TV series, which airs on Nashville Public Television. She lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville. Visit JTEllison.com, and follow her on Twitter @Thrillerchick or at Facebook.com/JTEllison14.