Saturday, December 22, 2012

My life is a to do list

I am surrounded by things to do. Certain times of the year, I can actually get all the things done and then have time for myself. Most of the time, I go to bed, mentally calculating all the things I didn't get around to that day and planning accordingly for the next.

My life is a to do list. There is no satisfaction quite like that achieved when I can cross something off it.

These days, it centers around the holiday, even more so this year because we're on our own for it. This will be the first year we don't have my mother-in-law. My father-in-law chose to stay in the UK and spend the holidays with his other son. My family? Well, I haven't celebrated Christmas with my family in twenty years. We're scattered across the country. I'm in California. My brother is in Michigan. One sister is in Oklahoma and the other is in North Carolina with my mom. Getting together just doesn't happen.

So here I am, doing what I can to make it a memorable Christmas anyway. It's important to me. These are the memories that will guide my children into their futures. These are the signposts they will measure future holidays by. But it's more than that, because these are also the days I will never have with them again. If I've learned anything this year, it's that each day must be treasured for the gift it is. Holidays are no exception to that.

At the periphery of this, stories beg for my attention. I have no pressing demands right now, except for something completely gratis and for fun, but I can't even find the time to chip at that. Writing takes a backseat. Even more frustrating is the fact that ideas crop up more often when I don't have time to write. I keep getting nibbles of, "Oh! That would be fun to do," or "Wouldn't it be great to get back to the story about the prodigy?" 

I can't, though. Not right now. On the to do list of my life, it's just not enough of a priority to ignore everything else.