Creating needed holiday pressure

Lynn Moncus

This surely is a most special season although some of us are a bit slow in going into action. As I receive each beautiful Christmas card and letter, I wonder when I am going to begin sending mine. As friends mention that their shopping finished, I wonder when I am going to begin.

While thinking about the above statements, I realize that life changed rather drastically after retirement. When I was gainfully employed, I managed to accomplish all sorts of thing by this time of year. Not only did I have the cards sent and the gifts purchased, but also I had the final examinations graded and the grades posted. I could then come home and have a real Christmas vacation. I guess I worked well under pressure and rather enjoyed meeting deadlines.

When I retired, I must have left most of my self-discipline in my office! I intended to leave the pressure there, but I should have at least put a small dose of self-discipline into one of the boxes of books. Of course, it could be in one of the boxes in the garage, and just maybe I’ll find it someday. In the mean time, I’ll have to find the substitute in order to accomplish the necessary tasks. That will come in the form of the pressure I will create by procrastinating until the last minute.

Many retired people mention that they don’t know how they managed to find time to work because they are far busier then they were when they were employed. As usual, I don’t seem to fit in with the crowd because I’m certainly not busier than I was when I was in the classroom and having such fun. Those students pushed me to try to exceed my grasp every day in order to be able to give them as much as I possibly could manage to give. Greeting them in each class and lecturing for an hour or two was the highlight of each day. In order to do that, I had to spend hours in preparing and more hours in grading papers.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying every bit of my retirement, but I’m certainly not busy! That word is rarely in my vocabulary because it reminds me too much of busy work, and I had too much of that during my years as a student. I’m just plodding along and accomplishing very little. I have created my own simple schedule and usually manage to follow it, but I don’t see much need to talk about the simple-minded things I do.

Along about next week, I’ll create another schedule for the holidays and dash around madly trying to do everything others have been doing for days. The cards will be sent, the gifts will be wrapped, and I’ll still have time for a short Christmas vacation. I’ll fool self by creating a few deadlines and then force self to meet them. Some pressure is necessary in order to jump start the self-discipline.

Actually, I’ll have more fun that way because I rather enjoy the last minute rush. While many of you will be feeling great because you have finished all your tasks, I’ll be enjoying the pressure, but even then I won’t be to busy to take pleasure in the usual daily schedule of spending much time relaxing and just enjoying being in our Quay County. Let’s all greet each new day and have great fun during the season!