Not so much a miscellany this week - just another of those 'just checking in' posts. Reading through my favourite blogs it seems many of us are afflicted with similar pre-Christmas problems: panic, doing too much and just putting ourselves under an awful lot of pressure. So silly.
Don't get me wrong, I do love the run-up to the Christmas week. But with it comes the endless lists. What to eat, what to cook, what to buy, Christmas card lists, present lists, to-do lists. Deadlines (last posting dates), finding those things online which are suddenly out of stock, attending parties, visiting, receiving visitors...
The past few weeks have been exhausting. A lack of sleep coupled with agreeing to do too many things resulted in a minor meltdown yesterday. In the toy cupboard. At the playgroup Christmas party. Too much rushing around organising things, running late and somehow feeling responsible for everyone (why???) meant I just had to dissolve into tears. A friend followed me in and was lovely and I pulled myself together and carried on as normal. The cupboard's cold and smells of mouse wee so to be honest it was a relief to get out of there.
My blogging's hit a bit of a dormant period. Not through lack of ideas or interest, but to be honest right now I like my little quiet times to be just that. A lie down under a blanket watching TV or reading. The respite's good.
Apparently my mum's headstone is now in place at the cemetery, 'in time for Christmas'. I feel I should go but the thought of it is just too much to bear right now. My stepdad visits regularly and I think he gets some comfort from going there. Maybe it's a generational thing. I'll go when it feels right - like I'll go through her things when I'm ready. She'd understand.
So, to reflect these strange up-and-down times: some handmade cards. From sad things to happy things again, back and forth I go.
I enjoyed making the cards. Creative pursuits can be absorbing and relaxing, and it was good to play around with paint and stamps. The alphabet stamp kit was such a good buy, I'm tempted to get another in a different font. And I already have an eye on the New Year: I'm stockpiling pieces of card from cereal boxes so I can make my own 2015 calendar.
Last weekend was a bit crazy, with Jay working on Saturday and a fair bit of socialising and entertaining crammed in for good measure. Plans for the tail end of this week amount to a lunch with my friend (while Joe spends some time with his grandparents) and another list-making session: meal ideas and food to buy during The Big Shop. Lovely celebratory things like cheeses and chocolate and bottles of fizz.
Finally, in other - literally - loose ends news, I've finished knitting Joe's red scarf and just have to sew in the odd trailing end. All our online purchases have been delivered. I have an awful lot of gift wrapping to do.
My stepdad now has a little dog to keep him company. I'm so pleased for him. And my brother's going to be a dad again. On Friday we'll be finding out whether I'll be getting another niece or a little nephew.
We're not even at the Winter Solstice yet, let alone out of 2014, but things gallop along. I'm hoping for a slow Christmas still: meaningful, relaxing and full of small pleasures. So enough rushing around and drowning under obligations. From now on I'm stepping back and just letting it happen.