I've watched, with a sort of bemusement, this year's Christmas preparations swirling around me. Time and energy are precious commodities around here, and I save all mine for the cafe.
Inevitably, customers have asked me if I'm ready for Christmas. I just shrug my shoulders and say, "Um...yeah...," implying "I'm as ready as I'll ever be." Foremost on my mind is carrying my business over the slowest time of the year*. Christmas? Bah! Humbug!
Exacerbating this whole situation are my employees, for whom the cafe is only a small segment of their lives.
Divine Mrs. D (decked out in tinsel and garland and skipping about to a sappy version of Jingle Bells
performed by Aerosmith --- or something like that; something annoying
and loud): I finished my Christmas shopping today and I spent last night
wrapping them in hand-printed wrapping paper while the children and I
gathered around the fire and sang caroles and Papa played the fiddle..."
Me: I got home and spent 3 hours doing the books for the cafe, slurped down a martini, crawled into bed.
Then I fell asleep until waking up a 2 a.m. and suddenly remembering
the electric bill for the cafe and spending the rest of the night wondering where I'm going to conjure the cash before the lights go out.
has been very focused on getting me into the Christmas spirit and is very lucky I never hauled off and slugged her.
This past week did nothing to bolster my spirits and, ultimately, we realized only one of us was needed to run the whole show -- well, one of us and one of our teenage employees, in this case Ms. Em. So Dirtman sent me home to rest -- physically...and, more importantly, mentally.
I spent one day in bed, watching only what was on the DVR so I wouldn't have to encounter holiday advertising or those sappy Hallmark Channel movies. That, and searched the web for...what?
The thing about surfing the web and sites like Pinterest...if you don't know what you want to see, it has ideas for you. So there I was, being led by my computer to who I am when I'm not only The Owner of a Cafe or The Ex-Non-Profit Employee.
Jeanne Jackson, I'd like you to meet Jeanne Jackson. Remember her? Used to write a funny little blog and make her dogs talk; knitted silly little things while listening to 19th-century literature on audio books; used to laugh so hard she got the hiccups and someone had to get her inhaler.
You know -- before her feet hurt.
So today: Heir 1 is home and Heir 2 is due in tonight. "I'll be out of bed...eventually," I dismally told Heir 1 last night. But I was wrong. Once again, hope comes to the forefront and once again, I rally.
I stink at depression. I just can't seem to manage that elusive nervous breakdown.
I was out of bed when Dirtman got up, making my shopping list and planning normal, family meals. How good it will feel to cook for four people and not 24 for a change. A naked pine tree sits in the livingroom, awaiting purpose.
There are halls to deck, food to prepare, cookies to bake, dogs to dress in embarrassing Christmas attire.
Because today my feet feel just fine.
*Downtown Romney practically no retail shops, save one. So people drive to Cumberland, Md., or Winchester, Va., to do Christmas shopping -- and eat there while they do it.