Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Stockings Are Hung

Any of you who follow this blog regularly will already know that I'd rather celebrate Thanksgiving than Christmas. Because we never had much growing up, my memories of Christmas are pretty bleak. So, during the last couple of years, when I didn't put up a tree or send greeting cards, it didn't bother me, even though it offended my friends for whom Christmas is the day they look forward to all year.

Which is why this year is such a marked contrast. Already, with weeks to go before THE day, I've got my gifts in the mail and the cards have all been addressed and sent. I purchased a little tree with fiber-optic lights and hung my special White House ornament collection on it. There's just enough room for these beautiful and unique ornaments, each of which have a special significance to the former occupants in the White House.

Why am I so ahead of the game this year? I asked myself that question as I sat last night watching my tree go through its light rotation. I came up with only one reason: My routine is back to normal.

I am a list-maker, as are so many of us. Each week, I prepare my list of what needs done in the next seven days and love being able to mark things off the list. I include things that are relevant to my work, and hold myself accountable for both my creative work and my side hustle job. But there are also things on the list like meeting up with a friend for lunch, going to my exercise class, and other mundane chores like swiffering the floors and taking my trash to the dump. If it needs doing during the next seven days, it goes on my list.

It's been hard this past year for me to adhere to my list, since life got in the way of my routine. But I'm happy that I was able to complete a manuscript that got picked up by a publisher, and I will have a new book coming out next year. And I'm happy that I've found a new and fascinating era from our past that I can delve into. The Revolutionary War affected every person, great or small, rebel or resistor, gun-toting farmer or Quaker pacifist. My work with this period of our past makes what's now going on in Congress especially memorable, and I marvel every day at the forward-thinking of the framers of our Constitution.

So, routine has been reestablished, the tree is up, the stockings are hung, and my little dog Mary and I are set to enjoy the milder climate of a North Carolina December. Wherever you choose to celebrate the season, stay warm and be happy.

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