Sunday, December 20, 2009

One Step at a Time

Alcoholics Anonymous has a bumper-sticker slogan: "One Day at a Time."

Best approach to holidays, in my view, is to have a much shorter term goal: One Step at a Time.

I just now sawed down a Christmas tree (we live in the woods) and hauled it into the house. As is often the case, my eyes were bigger than my den, and I brought in a monster whose top is now bowed by the ceiling at the highest point in the room. I plan to leave it that way. I think it's interesting. Want to argue about it?

At any rate, the Christmas-tree-in-house step is now checked off. And that is rather satisfying. It's also going to be magnificent when I'm done.

Thursday, I went to a 7 person holiday party--my writing group of 27 years--and our leader suggested that we go around the circle and each take a turn griping. It was wonderful, and got into some pretty intimate and interesting and hilarious stuff. I felt we were all closer, and that's what holidays are all about.

A paradoxical approach to holiday joy--I thought it very bold of her to suggest. Though, frankly, when asked to gripe, I had trouble doing it. Finally I managed to say that I'm working too hard; but then blew it by adding that I was enjoying the work.

So anyway, revised secret of holiday happiness: one step at the time with time allowed for complaining. Maybe at that time all the gripes will simply evaporate as mine did.

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mamie said...

Oh, I love the idea of griping around the table. I'm having a group of writers here tomorrow night to do a little winter solstice reading. My piece is entitled, "Right Before Christmas" and the first line is, "Laugh, cry, yell at somebody."

I live pretty much one day at a time at the holidays. And I am, thank God, through with this day except for reading the paper.

Anonymous said...

perhaps u have too little to complain re--i may be able to help here.
the very concept of Xmas is a long-leftover pagan holiday--cldn't we consider having some celebratory holiday that doesn't involve hi stress re getting/giving the Right gifts, serving the Right dinner, having the Right party, etc ? & do away w/ this Xmas mess--i doubt enough'd sign on for this swap, but it'd sure make the transitiont to the next year more comfortable. aiki

Anonymous said...

Please post a pix of your beautiful tree! It reminds of my happy times as a girl scout. One of our challenges was to start a fire with one match using a 12 inch log that had been soaked in water for days. I still have my axe. Merry Christmas to all.

Peggy Payne said...

Happy Solstice Reading, Mamie. You seem to have the right approach.

Anon 1, I'd love to have the no-pressure kind of celebration you describe. I think most people would, but we wind up going along in order not to disappoint others. Ironic.

Anon 2, I'm just grateful I wasn't in your scout troop. I got 2 badges: one in cooking (which involved identifying which was regular milk and which was buttermilk with my eyes closed) and the other in "communications" (touring the TV station).

Will post the tree pix when the last bit of tinsel is applied. Which may be Easter.