So it’s that time of year when everyone is happy about the holidays. Or at least they are able to put on the appearances of being happy. I wonder if the reality is more like this SNL skit:
The kids’ school does a lot of extra events this time of year, so the schedule is helter skelter, “Pick up kids early, drop them off in pajamas, have a special snack prepared, bring ingredients for ginderbread house making.” That’s just a few of the things. Yesterday there was a school play which required the kids get in “special dress” and the result was similar to this SNL skit from this weekend:
Since school is dismissing early my wife came up with a good idea to invite some of the kids’ school friends over for lunch and a play date. We’ve been missing the social connection (her especially, I think), so I figure that this would be a good idea. Unfortunately, our lives are pretty hectic (isn’t everyone’s?) so the house has a billion half-finished projects and we’re overwhelmed with clutter and toys. (In fairness, my STEM toy addiction probably hasn’t made matters better.) We’ve got so many toys that the kids don’t even play with their brand new Nintendo Switch that they saved up for. It’s only going to get worse as I kept finding deals throughout the holiday season.
The biggest thing that is going on with me is that I think I’m just depressed. It’s hard to write that and we’ll see if I hit the publish button. The combination of the short days of the year and it being 15 degrees is simply not a good mix for me. It’s probably some kind of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder). I don’t want to leave the house or walk the dog or any of the things that would probably be healthy.
Behind the scenes, we have a condo turnover that is just terrible. It’s hard when people move out in November or December in cold states. No one wants to move. We’ve lowered the price, but the real estate agent keeps on asking us to do more and more work. It’s getting to be too much deal with contractor after contractor. With it being a couple of months now (and probably more without a Christmas miracle), it’s hard to pour more money into it.
I’ve had a difficult time online as well – and almost everything I do is online. I had this great idea to review every year of the decade. That kind of article takes 8-10 hours minimum, which is hard to put together. I’m not sure if people get value from it, because few people leave comments on blogs any more. I think it’s just the nature of their being so much content out there that no one has the time to read it all and comment. Everyone else has their own endless todo list, right?
The online income isn’t getting better (which makes sense, because I have less time to blog), but when it does come, it comes with maddening invoicing instructions. It used to be that everyone put an email address and an amount in Paypal and it was done in 30 seconds. I spent nearly half a day with one client after they were making so many changes and special requests, I was wondering they ever intended to pay me at all.
I’m certainly not being helped by the news cycle. I don’t go into politics here very often, but I’ve been transparent about which side I’m on now that the chasm has grown so far apart. I find it difficult to root for someone whose platform of bullying and helping foreign interests is put ahead of America and real problems like student loans, healthcare costs, and climate change. I grew only more sad watching the democratic debate last night and thinking, “It’s a shame that we can’t have any of these intelligent, articulate leaders representing our country.
Usually, I have a few safe havens, like being able to celebrate the Patriots’ success. However, they haven’t had their success (despite the great record) or late. They are banged up and don’t seem to have the offensive talent any more. And to make things worse the local news is buzzing about taping issue with the general conscious seeming to be that because they were deemed guilty before, they’ll be deemed even more guilty now. I’m sure no one would have any sympathy for a Patriots’ fan (nor should they), but it was a constant source of good online news for me for a long time now.
This is also one of the busiest times for my wife. She’s got to file for military promotion. She compares to doing college applications, but in this case, there’s one school – Harvard. So you better have cured cancer in the last year, or the promotion isn’t happening. Even if you did, you better cross every “t” and dot every “i” and make sure all 74 of your bosses signed off on it and wrote a glowing 10 page review. Then you’ll have checked off one of the 5 or 6 areas that they judge.
Personally, I don’t if she should ever even try, but if you fall at the bottom of list, you could get discharged. It sounds like a more and more competitive rat race, and I think she’s at the point where it’s just not worth running it any more.
I don’t know what the end take-away is from all this. I think most of it is temporary and may just be in my head. One of the things that helped was just writing up. I know that a lot of other people are feeling it too. In the grand scheme of things these may be small potatoes in comparison. I think there will be some natural time off with the Christmas holiday and then things on this blog will hopefully pick up before the New Year.