Somehow I was under the impression that when I retired, I’d have all this time to do all kinds of things in a more leisurely fashion than I was able to when I tried to do them while working! Um, my mistake! I find myself again and again thinking, “how in the world did I do all this and work, too?” Case in point: I actually started thinking about Christmas shopping back in October and even picked up a couple of small things….it ended there! Oh, I didn’t just forget about it. I tried and tried to tell myself that I’d better get it done, but there just didn’t seem to be the time for it and, after all, I was starting to think about it early. Then, Thanksgiving came and went. And, all of a sudden, I was faced with a list that I had barely made a dent in and only FIVE days until Christmas Eve (the date that all my family will be at my house for dinner and exchanging of gifts…….the gifts I hadn’t even bought, yet, let alone had wrapped and ready to be passed out).
So, today, December 19th, I headed out shopping. The day started out fabulously! I got up early, took care of a few things around the house, and was on my way. I tuned the radio in the Equinox to a station that is currently playing only Christmas music. I gayly sang loud and proud along with every song I knew and hummed shyly to the ones I didn’t recognize or forgot the words to. I was beaming with Christmas Spirit and excited about a day of shopping! I decided I was not going to quit until every gift was bought and every name on my list was accounted for. My first stop was Kohls on the Ridge in Greece – I found one item I wanted in there. Then, I went to The Shops On West Ridge – I knew they had one specific item I wanted to get and figured I could find something for at least a couple more on my list while I was there. I did get the one specific item, but nothing else caught my eye! The last time I was there, I could have easily spent $1000 if I had it and allowed myself to spend it. But, not today! But, the day was young and it was just a minor set back. Besides, there was an Irish singer performing live while I was there and that was not only very enjoyable, it also put a little extra spring in my step! I stopped at a restaurant to get a gift card to check one more gift off my list.
The restaurant got me thinking and checking my watch. I decided it was time for lunch. I was in the mood for some seafood, so I went to Red Lobster and had a fantastic meal of shrimp, crab, and lobster! YUM! Refueled and reenergized, I was ready to continue on my quest to shop till I was done……or till I dropped, whichever came first.
To the mall, I commanded my trusty Equinox, to the mall! And off I went!
Defeat soon set in. Parking spots were scarce. Stores were packed with other last-minute shoppers, some of whom were not on their best “Christmas-like” behavior. When I found what I wanted, it wasn’t available in the size or other specific criteria I needed. I got lost in stores I’m not familiar with and couldn’t find the departments I was looking for or couldn’t find my way out! My knee was screaming at me. My back was working hard to convince me to just go home. But, I was determined to get the job done….even if it meant fighting through my last nerve! I started thinking that whatever I could get my hands on would be better than nothing at all. But, even though I was dangerously close to a full-blown “Bah Humbug” tantrum, I knew that was wrong – I had put a lot of thought into what I was looking for and I really didn’t want to “settle” for anything less.
So, I went out to the car to take a break. Once my knee and back stopped rebelling against me and I gulped down a cold coke to quench my parched mouth and throat, I was able to relax a few minutes and my mind became clearer…..I got my second wind…..I knew what I needed to do to finish the goal I set out to achieve…..I refocused and went back in with a better game plan! A woman who looked about as irritated as I was just a short time prior (maybe more so) gave me a “what planet are you from” look when she caught me singing along with the rendition of “Here Comes Santa Claus” on the loud speakers, but it didn’t faze me in the least – I just smiled at her and never missed a beat of the song! 🙂 I got a few things at the mall and headed to Home Depot and then Ridgemont Plaza. I was in and out of the stores like a ninja on a mission. And I got it all done! And I didn’t settle for anything I wasn’t planning on getting! I achieved victory!
Nine full hours after I left the house this morning, I returned home in one piece and the cargo section of the Equinox full of goodies, including a few things I treated myself to! I sang along with the Christmas song station all the way home! The day that started out all “FaLaLa” and turned into a “Bah Humbug” ended up in full “FaLaLa”, again! And then, after I took care of the girls – let them take care of business and eat some supper, I went to choir practice and sang some more! I got there early enough to enjoy listening to the Bell Choir practice before time to join the Chancel Choir practice. Aahh…….peace!
I’m done! I can relax and enjoy what is left of the week leading up to Christmas…….oh, wait…….all those bags on my den floor need to be sorted out, wrapped, and placed under the tree! Well, I’ll tell you what………I’m not going to think about that, now – it is time for a much needed and well deserved good night’s sleep! I’ll get on all that tomorrow!
FaLaLa LaLa LaLa LA LAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!