I'm slowly waking up to two facts (one new, one as old as my adulthood, but nevertheless something I have perennially failed to come to grips with.)
1) That business last November with the abruptly ramped up workload, reduced resources, and through-the-roof stress? Turns out that was not a one time thing after all. It may be annual, biannual... details are sketchy, but it's definitely back in full swing this month.
2) The truly useable, getting-important-stuff-done days in December? Adds up to about two weeks. That isn't a lot, considering what's on the the December To-Do list.
Those two factors combined last year to crush my seasonal happy and have been well on track to do the same again in 2010. I realize that lots of people don't celebrate Christmas (though very many people do celebrate something about light and connectedness around Solstice time) and still more have too much pain attached to the season to do anything but endure it, but for me, personally, it has always been a good and needful thing: twinkling lights, warm fires, and little indulgences; traditions, rememberings, and milestones that mark the time, counting out safe passage through the darkest days of the dark season.
I don't control the external factors, but I'm not ready to give up on that safe passage... for me or my children. It is all too easy to drown in the urgent, succumb to the guilt-driven insistence that moments of pleasure must wait for all the work to be done, but before long there is only grimness and clock-despair and a horrid steel trap squeezing the life out of the brain.
So: I hereby resolve that on each of the crazy days between now and December 17th (the last day of school, when the possibility of kid-free productivity flies off into the ether like so many startled pigeons) I will indulge in a lovely thing, and post about it... even IF all my emails are not yet answered and the house is trashed and the website update isn't finished and the dinner dishes have not been cleared. As part of that goal, I further resolve to make time for knitting - exactly what I want to, joyfully and without stress, and to gift it only to such rare people as will be enraptured by the magnificence of the object and the hours of loving labour contained therein. My children are two such, and I further resolve to knit for them as the mood strikes, rather than being put off by the futility of engineering a surprise.
Here's one to kick things off:
It is suddenly stupidly cold and windy right now, well worthy of the prairies, only with the added bonus of coastal humidity, and Somebody grew out of all his winter mitts. I worked on these between chores yesterday and stayed up late to finish the second in time for school this morning. I may have overdone the thrumming a little, but once we wiggled and squished a tunnel through all that lovely merino roving, they fit just fine and kept him toasty warm through the -20 degree wind chill. Best of all was the poignant gratitude on his face this morning as he asked, "You stayed up that late? Just For Me?" That right there is the real deal behind the seemingly corny platitudes about love in every stitch. (Added bonus: his matching blue hat, the original Griflet, that has been tragically missing for more than two weeks, turned up like magic this afternoon. Good things beget good things.)