Christmas chaos for me has been lasting for more than six weeks now. I've had no time to blog, very little time to eat and less to exercise, as I juggle four jobs and the usual "special holiday" demands--parties, jewelry/craft sales, and so forth. I wouldn't have been able to pull off my own annual Christmas party without my mother's flying up for a week and not only gamely coming along with me to work the estate sale (the last of 2011!) we were setting up in Potomac, MD, but also assembling the traditional baklava (Southern style, with pecans in addition to the almonds and walnuts) while I frantically straightened and cleaned the house. I was debilitatingly low on my quota of sleep until this past weekend, when I had a rare night with no commitments and was able to retire early. My maternal side of the family celebrated its Christmas today in Georgia, but I'm at work in Bethesda, and my teleportation skills are not up to par these days. I hope to drive down at a leisurely pace tomorrow, having shrouded the computer at work with plastic, as we had a dramatic leak in the roof yesterday which set me dreaming all last night about falling ceiling plaster and damp insulation.
There is some benefit to being so busy--it leaves little time for worrying--but there is also considerable cost--I haven't communicated with many friends in months, because I simply haven't had a moment, or any available energy, to touch base. And a few of my female acquaintances are directly in harm's way: a coworker had to fly to Teheran to be with a sick sibling, and another former classmate is in Cairo working as a democratic activist. Other ladies are simply overcome by the stresses of work, or have encountered the sudden loss of employment over the last month. I keep thinking that January is going to be an oasis of calm after all this manic activity and mental anxiety, but I may be deluding myself.
I was able to complete a few of the patchwork bags I've been piecing for what seems like forever, and of the six finished, one sold. The only thing besides sleeping, reading and eating I plan to do over my Christmas break is sew. I may leave Mums with another carpetful of threads to vacuum, but I'd like to begin 2012 with enough inventory to see me through the summer. Anita's asked me to think about returning to the market, but I'd only do it semimonthly and with a display of bags instead of jewelry.
Estate sale coworkers and I are chatting about creating a reality TV series based on our experiences. One's daughter is a TV producer, so this isn't as far-fetched as it might seem. Another is planning to collaborate with me on a novel manuscript--she's supplying the plot outline, I'm writing descriptions and we're both structuring the dialogue. It's a murder mystery series.
I'm still waiting to hear back from the news director of the largest local radio station (tagline: "Traffic and weather together on the eights") whom I encountered under unfortunate circumstances a couple of weeks ago: in the dark and rain, right across from the National Cathedral when my 13-year-old car's front bumper slid into the rear of his new Lexus. The only damage (it was less than 5 mph) was that one of the screws holding on my license plate punched a small, screw-head-sized hole into his bumper. But it's a Lexus. He was gracious, not a jerk (thank God!), though you could tell he was not thrilled that I'd bumped him. He took a photo with his phone and emailed it to me, and said he'd be in touch (he was on his way to dinner, and the police don't come for domestic violence on the street in Georgetown--why would they come for such a minor traffic incident?). I wrote him a nice note back, but haven't heard anything. The holidays being what they are, and his job being what it is, it may be weeks yet. I hope the fix isn't expensive, and that the dealer doesn't try to convince him he needs a whole new bumper. I did get a very generous bonus from one of my bosses, but I don't want it to vanish into some car dealer's pocket.