The Highs and Lows of the Holiday Season

I’ve thought long and hard, and have come to the conclusion that I’m just not that into Christmas this year. Maybe it’s because uncomfortable family dynamics have always stressed me out during the holiday season. Maybe it’s just because I hate feeling pressured into buying things for people, when I know the real reason I’m purchasing this specific whatsit for The Man is because it’s roughly the value of the thingamajig he’s going to get for me. I hate it! There’s way too much guilt, and not nearly enough goodwill left to spread around.

So there are six days to go until Christmas rolls around, and I’m officially over the whole damned season. That being the case, there’s a good chance that I won’t be stopping in to talk to you via C&Q until the holiday season has buried its ugly little head in the sand once again. I’m in no mood to share stories of holiday goodness, or even to list out my New Years’ resolutions like I’ve done in previous years. But there are other reasons for my radio silence, too – mostly reasons that I just can’t talk to you about right now. My life is getting ready to change soon in some pretty giant ways, and this isn’t the place to air that laundry (yet).

Rest assured that the news, when it hits, will be full of goodness. Possibly it will be full of all of the happy thoughts I’m just not seeing in the red-and-green tinged world that surrounds me at the moment. Maybe by next year I will have recovered some pieces of my long-lost holiday cheer, and will be writing to you about all of the exciting difference a year has made. I dunno. Until we meet again, hugs, kisses, and here’s hoping that plenty of gluhwein gets poured in your general direction. I love you all.

XO,

A

Another New Orleans Halloween

Getting decked out in costume is a favorite New Orleans pastime, and The Man and I are both particularly keen on Halloween. I was hoping that we’d get to spend our favorite holiday somewhere a bit spookier, like a couple of years ago when we went to Salem, MA for the big day. But that was not to be this year; our budgets and schedules were both reluctant to comply with our wishes.

That’s OK, though. In true NOLA fashion, we still get to have two Halloween nights – a weekend party, and what I assume will be a slightly tamer Halloween Thursday. Here are some photos from this weekend’s adventures.

My last minute costume - a pink haired witch in a top hat.

My last minute costume – a pink haired witch in a top hat.

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The Man spent a few weeks creating his costume - a very realistic voodoo doll, complete with pins.

The Man spent a few weeks creating his costume – a very realistic voodoo doll, complete with pins.

Under the mask was this spooky face.

Under the mask was this spooky face.

We wandered down to Frenchmen Street, where The Man was the toast of the town. Everybody wanted to snap a picture with him, including Alf!

We wandered down to Frenchmen Street, where The Man was the toast of the town. Everybody wanted to snap a picture with him, including Alf!

A friend invited us to this amazing and completely unexpected house party in a genuine haunted mansion on Esplanade Avenue. Great music, too - compliments of DJ Kirk & DJ Khan.

A friend invited us to this amazing and completely unexpected house party in a genuine haunted mansion on Esplanade Avenue. Great music, too – compliments of DJ Kirk & DJ Khan.

The bathtub in the haunted mansion. Gruesome, but well-played.

The bathtub in the haunted mansion. Gruesome, but well-played.

 

 

 

 

 

Grinch-tastic

I’m so tired of the holidays. Can’t wait til today is over. I don’t want presents; I just want to have a day or two alone, with no one to talk to, explain to, endeavor to please or placate. That’s not happening, though, so it’s time to put on my happy girl face and march out to hang out with The Man’s extended family for the rest of the day. Yes, I know I sound so Scrooge-like – sorry to all of you genuinely merry folks. Maybe next year will be different.

Exhaustion

Exhaustion

I’ve been running myself ragged, and I’m not really sure how to fix it. Maybe it’s the holiday season, and the amount of money I feel forced to spend to make my loved ones happy with me (obviously, I know this isn’t true, but sometimes it does feel that way). Maybe it’s the fact that Murphy the linebacker cat keeps climbing the Christmas tree and knocking off my favorite ornaments. Maybe it’s that I’m not even Christian, so the fact that we even HAVE a Christmas tree is off-putting to me this season. Of course, a Christmas tree is just a Yule log in disguise, and I do love glitter and glass decorations, so it’s not that big of a deal. It just feels like I’m being smooshed by the holidays, you know?

There’s a lot going on at work. Everyone’s working long hours, and I just don’t have the time to work 12 hour days without getting paid for it, but I can’t tell my boss that, so I just keep trying to fit everything in somehow. I’m trying to start my own little freelancing business so I can make a little more money, and hopefully that can happen soon. I already have a couple of people who have asked for proposals on small jobs, so crossing my fingers, though I know that will then have me never sleeping again. But I really need the dollars, especially now.

School is also taking its toll. The class I’m in right now in grad school is kicking my butt. I don’t understand it, and the readings aren’t helpful, and it’s really freaking me out because it’s all about budgeting for a marketing campaign – stuff I REALLY need to get a handle on.  In addition, though I love the non-credit pagan classes I’ve been taking, I think I’ll have to only do one a semester from now on to avoid burning out. I’m not giving it as much of my time as I’d like, and that’s not fair to my spirit.

As for music, the band is going well; I love singing, and my voice is returning to full strength, even though I dislike a couple of the songs we do, and I sometimes feel a little lame doing the few covers we do. But people love covers, so it’s really just my own perception of the problem. One of the covers is “Baby It’s You” as sung by Smith, and it’s awesome. I can totally pull off about 90% and sound just like her, but then there are some parts that I crack on so bad that it makes me ashamed to be on stage. Weirdly enough, other people love it, and think I do a great job. Sometimes I have a hard time reconciling my reality with everyone else’s.

I guess that’s what makes it easier for me to live these many lives, though. I know I can be doing more. I’m just so tired. A break is desperately needed. Maybe soon.

Until then – coffee.

I’m naming my new business The Marketing Witch. I’ll have my new website put together soon. The domain is mine, and I’ve set up a FB page, even though there’s nothing on either of them. Working at it, though. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it by the end of the week.

Kisses, luvs. Tell me how YOU’RE doing. I’d really love to know – I’m serious. I’m genuinely interested in all of you. If you’ve written something you really care about lately and I haven’t commented, feel free to post a link here in the comments, to make sure I see what you’ve said. I cherish all of you, even if I’m caught up in offline life at the moment.