Only 47 Shopping Days to Valentine’s Day!

Today was crazy.

We were up before dawn to catch the first ferry back to Vancouver Island. My sailor grumbled a bit about the early start, but I was determined to catch the tail end of the Boxing Week sales before everything was picked over. A quick trip to the mall on the way home indicated we needn’t have rushed as all the good stuff was long gone.

After unpacking and starting the first of about five loads of laundry (how do three people and one very small dog generate so much laundry?) we went grocery shopping.

I poked around the holiday section in the grocery store, looking for discount Christmas crackers for next year. It’s always a little sad to see the left-overs and this year was no exception. The shelves were bare except for some beat-up snowman decorations and a flat of Quality Street chocolates. Showing remarkable restraint, I wandered over the greeting card aisle without any candy.

Just around the corner from the marked down Christmas decorations, I found. . . a huge display of Valentine’s cards along with several lurid hot pink signs warning me to get my gift and card by February 14.

When did the world start moving so fast that we’re bombarded with stuff we need to buy for the next holiday before we’ve even finished celebrating the current one? Come to think of it, when did Valentine’s Day become a gift-giving occasion and not just an excuse to say extra mushy things to your partner?

I consider the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be part of the whole Christmas experience. Once all the Christmas stuff is sold/taken down, I think we all need a little down time before we’re exposed to the next holiday merchandise blitz.

One Out of Three Ain’t Bad

006I make my resolutions in September rather than January. The day after Labour Day is when everything is new again in our little house containing one student and one teacher. This year we’ll be adjusting to a new school year without our sailor, which will bring its own unique spin to the experience.

While you’ll never hear me complaining about getting a two month vacation, there’s a downside to long holidays like that. (You’re thinking: some people will moan about anything, but hear me out.) It’s really hard to get back into the swing of working fulltime after all that time off.

To add extra stress to the September situation, I don’t handle change well. (You’re thinking: she doesn’t like change and she married a man in the military??? Well, if you met him you’d understand. He’s calm and reassuring. He can talk me through turmoil like an international move or making the switch from dial-up to high-speed. He’s like the Nanette Whisperer.)

For a teacher, September is all about change. Every year feels like my first day on the job after being a stay at home mom when my boy was little. (Funny, but I never have to adjust to NOT working at the end of June. What if I’m not a delicate, change-resistant flower after all? What if I’m just lazy?)

Everyone needs resolutions, which are really just a blueprint to becoming a better version of yourself.

Here are mine for the 2013/14 school year:

1. Yoga! I did yoga Friday evenings through May and June. The first couple of classes were really hard, but I could feel myself loosening up and becoming bendier as the weeks passed. Each class included two short meditation periods which surprisingly calmed my racing mind. The instructor was easy to follow (important for someone uncoordinated like me) and she moved like a ballerina. That grace of motion is something to which I aspire. An unexpected bonus to yoga is the gear. Yoga clothes are so cute and having my own little mat really appeals to me.

2. I will NOT count the weeks until the first long weekend of the year. (Oops–it’s six until Thanksgiving. I guess that resolution is shot.) So the new year hasn’t even begun and I’ve already failed at one resolution, but I can still abide by its spirit. I’ll try to appreciate each new day as a gift to be cherished rather than wishing the time away in my hurry to reach each new holiday. This one will be especially challenging as every long weekend isn’t just an extra day off, it brings us closer to my sailor’s return.

3. Stop worrying so much. Honestly, I don’t think I have a hope in hell in achieving this one as there’s so much to worry about, but aren’t resolutions about grand, life-changing transformations?

At least I’ll be able to achieve one out of three this year.