by Camela Thompson
Some people really get into the holidays. They get up on their ladders and staple blinking lights to their houses and wrap bright strings with bulbs to their banisters. Posts fly down my Facebook timeline with pictures of gorgeous trees, gatherings with happy faces, and the symbols of Chanukah. Usually we're out of town for the holiday and I can get out of getting a tree. I fought it as long as I could, using photographs of pets destroying decorations. On Saturday I caved and bought a rosemary bush clipped to look like a Christmas tree because 1. I love cooking and it would come in handy and 2. It was more robust than the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
I'm not sure where the apathy stems from. I love giving gifts, particularly to my nieces and nephews. Sometimes these gifts are more devious than others, but there is an undeniable joy from seeing a happy expression on their faces. I joke that it's the darkness. There's probably more truth to that than not, but even my Bah Humbug heart is warmed by some of the scenes I've seen.
Two men rushing to catch their buses stopped when an elderly man fell. Both took the time to help the man up and make sure he didn't need further assistance. It would have been so easy for them to look away and scurry past as so many others had. Even though they didn't spend more than a few minutes of their day, it gave me hope.
Tired and sore, I limped through the grocery store pushing my cart and nearly ran into a man. Twice. Instead of being irritated, he shot me a wide smile and gestured for me to continue on my way.
My husband made me a ridiculous amount of soup when I didn't feel well. It was delicious and appreciated.
Acts of kindness are so much more important than what gets checked off the to-do list for the day or even getting home on time.
'Tis the cold season. I've been using my sluggish energy level as an excuse to binge read. It has been wonderful. It also has me questioning what all I can take on next year. Full time work, writing, marketing, and podcasting is taking a toll and it may be time to cut back. I struggle each time I sit down to blog, and find myself stressed out over finding something interesting to say. I have stories on shelves waiting to be edited because I've read all of the advice out there that extolls the wisdom of blogging, vlogging, and podcasting in an effort to increase my footprint. I'm not putting the effort into shouting (honestly, that's what most "marketing" efforts feel like to me--shouting) about the podcast, vlog, or blog.
Perhaps that was the energy level talking.
Or maybe I'm ready to work on new ideas. I sat with a friend talking about horrible writer revelations (and then spun that off into some really disturbing story ideas, but that's just how my brain works). One of those revelations comes about because someone has written something very similar to your own project. Is it better? Is it too late? Is there enough room in this world for both books? The other comes about because you had a brilliant idea, didn't act on it, and now something similar is rolling out to the theaters. That bad feeling isn't because someone else had success. It's because it really was an excellent idea but that's all it ever was.
I don't want to miss out on the next book. I don't want miss out on things I enjoy, either. I work, go home, work more, and then get up early on the weekend to podcast and work some more. Maybe it's time to make some different resolutions and stop scrambling to cram as much productivity in this lifetime as I can.
Enjoy your holidays. Tell your loved ones how you feel about them. Read some wonderful books and laze in front of the television. Do something that doesn't involve checking a to-do off your list.
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.