Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas with too much free time

It’s the Christmas season when everyone’s calendar fills up with family gatherings and visiting friends and various holiday activities, plus all the Christmas shopping and/or baking and/or cooking, all on top of our usual routine of work, errands and family. What’s supposed to be a wonderful, fun time of year becomes overwhelming and stressful as everyone tries to do everything. That is, everyone except me.

I have carefully lived my life in such a way as to avoid ever having too much to do. My career choices have not involved overtime or taking work home or being reached outside of business hours or being challenged too much in any way. I live far from family and the rounds of those social gatherings. I don’t have children, do volunteer work or have any hobbies that take large amounts of time (or that even take me outside of the home). I married a man who works a crazy amount of hours, including weekends, and whose workdays expand during the holidays (restaurant people get NO time off at this time of year). I’ve cultivated a safe, low-demand life.

It leaves me with a lot of free time, even in December. And I think I’m finally tired of it. I have lots of friends, but I guess they don't have the parties and cookie exchanges that might keep me busier (I hope they aren't because otherwise they just aren't inviting me!). I can't demand more invitations, but there must be activities I can find on my own that won’t scare me and make me feel overwhelmed, which I always fear. There must be volunteer opportunities I could try out, opportunities that would fit into my schedule. My Saturday nights tend to be free (Bob works late). For that matter, my Saturday days tend to be free, too. Maybe I could… I don’t know...do something that would have me interacting with others or at least get me out of the apartment. I’d love to spend more time with other adults doing an activity that’s meaningful to us. Maybe it could lead to new friends and fascinating conversations. Maybe my calendar would fill up and I’d become so busy I’d have to start weeding things out.

Maybe.

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