Sunday, October 30, 2016

October is Where the Chaos Begins

The month of October signals the busy time of panic and chaos part of the year for us me.  Well not as much panic as in the past since the addition of an anti-anxiety medication I was prescribed that takes the edge off and has subdued the panic state of affairs into a heart palpitation now and then and a flutter of nerves when the situation calls for it.  But at least it's not a full blown panic attack where I get so overwhelmed that I cease to function.  The time of chaos, which I lovingly refer to as The End of Days, used to start off with one of my daughter's birthdays.  Since I started creating the draft for this post (yeah yeah, a month late and a dollar short - I told you it was chaotic!), we had an early birth of my new grandson.  So yay for a new grandson and boo for expanding the chaotic time of year into late September.  Which puts it close to my mother-in-law's birthday so I might as well add that to the mix.  Ugggggh.  

So far in the last month, we've had a brand new birthday for a bouncing baby grandson, a birthday for my four year old other grandson, a birthday celebration for our 14 year old daughter (yes, I said FOURTEEN!) and an 18th wedding anniversary the very day after.  Side note: Our girls really know how to make an entrance.  One was born the day before our anniversary, and the other was born the day before my birthday.  

We've also had a Halloween party, and a couple days from now is the Halloween trick-or-treating.  Hubby's birthday follows five days later.  Then there's a brief respite of a couple of weeks to gear up for Thanksgiving which is usually at our house.  My soon to be 12 year old's birthday follows by about a week with my own birthday being the day after.  My niece's birthday is in the middle of December, followed by Christmas, and finally New Year's.   Add to that a scattering of other events that have yet to be scheduled (ie. Hubby's work Holiday party and so on...) and the end of the year is packed full of crazy.

Now, I know that everyone has at least the major holidays in the last three months of the year, and I'm sure there are some folks that have a lot going on and possibly even more than I have scheduled.  But being that I'm a severe introvert, this time of year is not all that exciting for me.  I mean, I love that we have so many celebrations because I'm happy for the people that are doing the actual celebrating.  I'm happy they are having a good time and having fun and I'm overjoyed to witness it.  However, on a personal level, I'm forced to attend social events where I'm uncomfortable, to meet people, to do the dreaded small-talk, to smile and nod and put on a face that outwardly indicates that I'm enjoying myself and doesn't warrant people to wonder what's wrong and why I'm there in the first place.  These are the events that basically, I make an appearance, make the rounds, make sure I've said hello to everyone that I should, make sure people see me there, and then wait for an appropriate time that I can extricate myself and go home and hide under the blankets to recover from so much energy expenditure and stress and people.  Oh the people!  Give me fifty animals running around, weaving in and out and making noise ANY day compared to a mixed group of people which includes both strangers and acquaintances.

I try and avoid going out shopping when it comes closer to the holidays.  I avoid malls like the plague.  Amazon is my really good friend.  To avoid the holiday rush and stress, I often find myself shopping early.  Months early.  I've even tried shopping throughout the year to not feel that stressful rush at the end of the year.  The problem with that is that I often forget that I've bought something, or swear that I did and can't find it anywhere.  I've even had designated boxes for people so that I know what I have for who and can add to that throughout the year.  That worked for a time except that now we have nowhere to allocate for that many boxes - storage room is at a premium around here.

Because I tend to do the majority of my holiday shopping early, I am forced to tell some people that they are in the 'no buy zone'.  Basically this means that they shouldn't be buying something that they wouldn't normally purchase on a day-to-day basis because I might have already acquired it.  This has happened on numerous occasions with my husband.  He'll go out and get something that I've actually purchased six months beforehand.  Either that or we'll be out somewhere and I have to hem and haw and try to convince him to not buy something because I already have it and what that winds up being is just a really awkward 15 minute conversation where I'm trying very hard to be non specific and gently sway him from buying something and he getting very frustrated because he wants said object and doesn't understand why I don't want him to get it.  Ultimately, I might as well have blurted out that I already got object x for him because after 15 minutes of pouty mcpouty face, I'm fed up and have run out of ways to say, "Just put it back on the shelf because it's already wrapped up and waiting for you in a few weeks," without actually saying that.  Maybe I should try mime or interpretive dance.  They'd probably be just as effective and perhaps a bit more entertaining.  At least to the people walking nearby.

I'd love to hear if anyone has any stellar holiday tips to make things a bit easier and less stressful in the long run!

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