I had to stop the world and get off today. I do this a couple of times a year when I work especially hard and wear myself out. After the reason for working so hard is over and I'm not stressed any longer, I sleep as late as I want, don't answer the phone and do exactly as I please for as long as it takes me to feel normal again. My family understands.
Four days of Thanksgiving preparations almost did me in! Okay, I’m a wimp. Many others do it, enjoy every minute of it and then go Christmas shopping early the next morning.
I could never do that!
By the time I bake five pies – assorted kinds – everyone’s favorite, with homemade crusts (the family won’t accept anything else) and prepare the rest of the food in massive quantities, I’m so worn out; I’d just as soon go to bed. I grew up with a friend whose mother did exactly that! Like me, she spent days cooking the Thanksgiving feast. When it was done, she put it all on the table for her husband and two children, said, “Enjoy!” and promptly went to bed! And there she stayed until late evening, when she got up, ate a bite and tackled the messy kitchen before going to bed for the night. My friend told me it was the same every year. The family accepted it as “her choice.”
As much as I’d like to do that, I don’t. I smile, sit down with my family and try to enjoy the meal it has taken me days to prepare. A meal I don't even like!
Then, when everyone is stuffed with rich foods, I look around my kitchen, which looks like a bomb just went off, and wonder if I’ll ever get it all cleaned up.
We don’t have just one meal time for everyone. Ours is like “open house” all day! People come and go at different times until late evening. Before I can get one mess cleaned up, others arrive, ready to eat. This goes on all day long. When Mr. H. and I got the last of the mess cleaned up last night, it was 10:30!
When I was younger, I took it all in stride and enjoyed the fact that everyone wanted to stop by to eat and visit... but as I get older, it gets more difficult to handle an all day affair like this. I think my family honestly believes I’ll always do it. Why wouldn’t they? I always have!
And you know what? Even though I complain every year and say, "I'm never doing this again," I probably will do it for as long as I’m able. Some things you just do.
Providing nobody minds if I stop the world and get off for a couple of days afterward.