Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Looking and Leaping

I had the strangest dream the other night. I'm terrible with details, and don't keep anything like a dream journal but I remember the basics.  It had to do with being on a sinking ship and frantically trying to find the things I wanted to save.  As the ship listed dangerously and took on water, I looked over the side for a way to escape.  I suddenly saw a sidewalk next to the boat, but being too dumb in my dream to jump off the boat and onto the sidewalk, I just kept on looking for a place to jump into the water and save myself before the ship sank.

I guess I'm not too smart in my dreams.

When I woke up I didn't think twice about this ridiculous sleep-robbing dream. I just shook my head, thought, "that was weird" and then went about my Sunday routine as usual.  As I was sitting at the computer tonight, staring at the screen and wondering what I might write about, my mind started to veer towards the calendar for the next week or so.  This upcoming week means a short school week for TeenTuna, teaching as usual for me, working through Wednesday, and then it all begins.  With that realization I gritted my teeth and felt that usual twinge of exhaustion and dread.  And then, I thought of the boat.

I know it's coming.  The December schedule.  The school concerts.  The holiday gigs.  The weather.  The shopping.  The family-go-round.  All these things are important in their own way, but where December is concerned, it's easy to get overwhelmed. 

Now, I have no illusions that by simply stating "I shalt not be overwhelmed" it will be so.  Let's face it, wishing it so hasn't worked so far, and I'm fairly sure the story will be the same this year as well.    I could sit down and make a list of resolutions to keep myself mindful of what I need to do.  But that sounds like a lot of work and a lot for time, and I already have too much of the first and nowhere near enough of the second.  I could make a detailed list of my obligations and seasonal "chores," but list-making and me don't always get along, and now is not the time to add "relationship repair" to my holiday dance-card.

I think my goal -- and realistically the best I can do -- is to be aware and open to escape whenever and wherever I can.  Even in my busiest days, I need to discover opportunities to step back and step out of the line of holiday fire.  Instead of resolving to escape the holiday hub-bub, I'm going to focus on finding the opportunity to do so.  A walk here, a chapter in a book there, an opportunity to take just a little time for myself.  Unlike my dream, maybe this holiday season I won't be quite so dumb, and I'll recognize the sidewalk for what it is: an escape route from the sinking ship and a path leading toward something new.

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