To say that the last few weeks have been busy would be an understatement. A few weeks ago, I went to Pennsylvania for my friend Ashley's wedding (which was beautiful, by the way, check out her pictures on her site!); two weeks ago was my visit to my parents' house to visit family and enjoy winter in MN. Last weekend featured a visit from one of my college roommates and a lovely wedding (of our other roommate) - fortunately, near my house. The stress of travel, work, and whatnot have been wearing on me - and we haven't even entered hardcore holiday season.
I am in the midst of changing my future - next week is my site visit at another potential postdoc location, and I am super excited! It will be a major relief to finally get started doing solid work, save myself some time and energy commuting, and (hopefully) enjoy my job much more again. But right now? Right now, I am preparing to give a talk to a bunch of people while also trying to clean the house for visitors, decorate for the holidays, and wrap presents (at least I'm done with the shopping - thank god for Amazon!). I'm trying to hit the gym with regularity, keep myself from getting sick, and take care of my boyfriend as he is still on the mend. Let me tell you - doing it all? Isn't really working out so well.
In the spirit of a beautiful New England Christmas and time spent with family, our house should probably look like this:
But....ummm....we're not quite there yet! I will try to get a picture when everything is up, though - we may at least manage to get the house clean and decorated this weekend. Nothing like above, but we'll manage :)
Growing up - even up through grad school, since I'd go home for a week or two on break - I always thought that the holidays were a happy time to rest, enjoy yummy food, open presents, and cherish family. Now I see, much more than before, that all the time leading up to the holidays is so stressful - it just isn't quite as "merry" as an adult, is it?
But at the same time, the meaning of the holidays changes as you grow older too. Getting to spend valuable time with friends and relatives, getting to share your love with your sweetheart (and kids, at some point), getting to give back to the community - it all means more than a clean and decorated house or a bunch of presents.
There you have it - I guess the holiday spirit really does change as time goes on. Cue music:
I hope that whatever you are doing for Christmas (or whatever holiday) this year, you remember to cherish those you spend time with, give back, and be generous with your time, energy, and love.