Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Age Doesn't Matter Unless You're a Cheese"

I am not sure who initially said that, but boy is it true. As you may know, I am at my parents home for the holiday. Every Thanksgiving I come down for the week and we really enjoy our time together. It is a real gift after 20 years of living so far away from them and not having the funds to travel.

That said, when I am here I find that I am no longer a 45 year old, married, mom who runs a business. I am just "their kid". This is not necessarily a bad thing. I have great parents and I love being one of their children. The problems lies in that it is too easy to put everything else aside and just wallow in the "kid" role. I forget about things that I want to do, I don't think about things I "need" to do and I just go with it. It doesn't show up as much on weekend trips. The turnaround is too quick and I never really get out of my "normal" mode. It's the weeklong trips where I tend to think "there's plenty of time- I will get to it later." and just put everything else aside to just visit and get done things that they need to attend to while we can.

I thought about it this morning. I woke up at 3:45 (don't ask!) and made the coffee. I started looking through our list of things to do and crossing off what we completed yesterday and adding things we thought of while we were out and about yesterday and sent a "good morning" text to my hubby who is at home and was up and getting ready to go to work. When the coffee was done, I poured a cup for me, filled the thermos and got another pot ready. I rarely do that at home until I have finished the pot and am ready to run out the door to work. I then watched a few of the Food Network shows Mom has dvr'd while I fiddled around on Facebook on my iPad. It wasn't until about 7am that I realized that it's been since Saturday that I checked my work email. Normally I do that every single morning while my coffee brews. It gets that chore out from under my belt before I get there and anything can happen that changes my day. Now- my assistant and I are both out this week. I can almost guarantee that no one has walked into my office except to drop things off for me to see when I get back since last Friday. As I get a ton of emails each day- that chore will take quite a bit of time this morning. I will dive in as soon as I finish this post.

Mom woke up a few minutes ago and found me sitting at the kitchen table so that I can use my keyboard with my iPad with the news on the little kitchen television. After a quick "good morning" she fussed at me about having the volume too low to hear. I laughed and said "Mom, I am less than 8 feet away from the tv- I can hear it and am trying to not wake up the world!" but I found myself doing the defensive/whiny thing that I did when I was a kid. I stopped and laughed again and just shook my head at what was coming out of my mouth. It just reinforced that I am in "kid mode".

So my question this morning is this...Do you do this too? Or am I just a little crazy? Could go both ways! Now it is the time to get that email checked so I can plug my iPad in and get going for the day. Two more days till Thanksgiving and there's a lot to do! Have a terrific day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Vacation Eve-aka Longest Day EVER

For the last ten years each Thanksgiving week I have taken the week off.  The first five was to work more at my second job and the last five to spend the week with my parents.  I look forward to this week SO much because it's the one week when I can forget work completely and just relax. I think my other half enjoys it too because he gets at least 5 days of nothing more to worry about than going to work and feeding himself.

 This year because I had not taken much time off I am actually taking TWO whole weeks! I don't have to be back to work until December 3rd! I am heading down to Mom and Dad's with the Barkingtons on Saturday and I may just spend both weeks down there.  I am not going to "schedule" anything.  Instead I will see how long it takes for me to feel like I need to be home and get some "stuff" that I have neglected done.

I know the pups will enjoy themselves.  They love, love, love being able to run free in Grandma and Papa's yard.  Unlike here, where they have to be on a "runner" or leash when they are outside, at Grandma and Papa's house they can chase squirrels and bunnies, explore the jungle of my mom's iris garden, play ball and flop down in the sun with only a fence to limit them.  Whenever I pack a bag they start watching closely to see what's going on.  When I pick up their bag- all hell breaks loose.  They know they are going somewhere.  Jumping and barking, following me around until I am ready and as soon as I say "Grandma"- they stand quivering with excitement by their leashes until they are clipped in and then dash to the door.  Due to their excitement I have to be very sneaky packing for all of us.  I actually started gathering clothes and stuff days ago but haven't pulled out my bag yet.  Tonight I will get some together and tomorrow the rest of my stuff will be packed so Hubby can help with packing my car before he goes to work on Saturday morning.  Packing for them will happen after they are at the groomer's on Saturday and then I will pick them up and leave directly from there to hit the road.

Before ANY of this can happen, I have to get through work today.  I know how this goes.  I have one several hour project and a whole bunch of little details to see to before I can go but even with all of those things to do the day will drag.  The closer we get to 4pm, the longer the hours will seem until I am wired for sound and bouncing off of the walls.  My poor staff will probably be as ready to see me walk out of the door as I will to go but what can you do? I think what I will try is this; every time I feel myself getting keyed up I will remind myself how grateful I am to have the opportunity to take a nice, long vacation and as I am giving myself that reminder I will also remind myself to breathe.  I am hoping it will keep me from making myself and everyone else crazy in the process.

Here's hoping it works because it's time to head in and get this day started!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's not the Christmas season just yet!

How's this for a conundrum?  I work in retail, in fact, I manage a retail establishment.  That said- "greater retail" makes me CRAZY!  I am not a "shopper" unless you want to drop me in the middle of Whole Foods/ Trader Joe's/Fresh Market or a book store (natch!) and then I can make a day of it.  I only buy clothes when I absolutely must.  I only buy household items when I can justify it.  I have a little craft "thing" that has been tamped down because I am out of designated room until I finish some projects.  I pop in and out of Target or Kohl's, Penny's (they have SEPHORA now!) or Macy's as fast as I can pick up what I need and get out.  I avoid Walmart like the plague and only go when it's the only place I can get whatever it is that I am looking for.

Here is what is currently making me nuts.  Halloween was a mere week ago.  I prepped for Halloween for weeks before that- favorite holiday and all.  In September, just after Labor Day, I went out to start looking for in expensive candy to do one of those "how much candy is in the jar" things in my store for Halloween.  I walked into the Dollar Tree and there, right next to the Halloween stuff, to my horror the drive aisles were set up for CHRISTMAS already!  Did I say horrified?  I was appalled!

That was just the beginning.  Halloween was last Wednesday.  The weekend before I had to do the Walmart thing and they too were pulling down Halloween and setting up Christmas.  Two weeks ago Target (oh- how can you betray me?) started running their first Christmas ads on television!  This is madness!  

Maybe I am old fashioned.  Maybe it's many, many years of working in both the hospitality and retail industries where we spend every waking hour heading into the holiday season inundated with Christmas music.  Maybe I have become a Grinch but I just feel that it's too much too soon.  I am of the camp that believes that the Christmas "stuff" doesn't start until after Thanksgiving.  And don't even get me started on Black Friday and the ads that are already popping up for that.

I am mildly agitated about this because last Thursday my assistant manager ( love her dearly) who is our general merchandise buyer was ready to dismantle everything Halloween and set up Christmas.  I balked.  Actually, I flat out said NO.  No tree, no music, no display.  Everyone know's that the season is coming.  The date doesn't change.  If people want to come shopping, great! We have the product and are prepared.  I just don't feel that we need to completely roll over Thanksgiving and wrap it up in one big ball and make it into 8 (or more) weeks of holiday madness.   Instead, we will be easing into the holiday.  I have 10 boxes of "Christmas" (both themed and gift worthy) books that have been in my back room for about 2 weeks.  This weekend we will start putting them out.  The week of Thanksgiving (when I am on vacation) they can go nuts and set up the tree and the decorations.  The Monday after Thanksgiving, the music can go on.

 Until then, I would rather we all concentrate on all of the wonderful things that we have to be thankful for this year.  It won't hurt anyone to take a deep breath and give thanks, if only for that deep breath.  It won't hurt anyone if we wait a few more weeks before we dive into Christmas.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just an idea for today

Yay!  It's election day- I can finally end my self-imposed mini-exile and come back to the wider parts of the web! O_o     I promise folks, this is a short and simple post.

This has been such a very, very ugly campaign season.  I know I have made my disappointment very evident here so I am not going to bore you with it again but I have had an idea.  I think it would be lovely to end all of the contention a better note.  Please, please get out and vote.  After you vote, how about we all do a random act of kindness?  I am going to buy coffee for the guy or girl behind me in line today.  It's as easy as that.  Just do something small to make someone's day a little better.  Let's band together and start a wave of good feeling out there.  Thanks!