Okay, so I've embraced it: This Chrismas sucks.
I almost forgot the old Jewish proverb: "We make plans. God says,'HA!'"
Cue the unforeseeable circumstances in my client's world, our editor's schedule, and missteps in my own time management and maybe even outright denial when it came to a realistic concept of the sheer tonnage of research involved in this multi-faceted--and incredibly fascinating--book I'm writing. The deadline was shifted to January 4th. I am locked into a jetstream of 18-hour days until then.
Meanwhile, Jerusha is working and doing a mini-mester class for school, so she couldn't get away either. This meant the only way for our family to be together was for Spike to come here from Florida, which he arranged to do, thinking he was headed for something other than the epi-center of the No Fun Zone.
"This is going to suck," Spike told me earlier today when I explained the situation to him.
At the time, I blustered something about how I miss him and it's Christmas, and then I tried to write for a couple hours, blinking tears out of my contact lenses and trying to figure out how to tear myself in two, the way working mothers always have and always will. And then I suddenly said...screw it.
No, not screw the book. If you think this is one of those stories, you don't know me at all. My name is Joni, and I'm a workaholic. But that doesn't mean I have to drag everyone else down with me. I went to Gary with the only plan that makes sense for our family this Christmas. Next week, he and Spike are going to Paris. They might take the train to see Pech Merle, or they might just dumb around together in this city they both love because they're a couple of history and art buffs. I'll find a lot of joy in doing my work well and in knowing they're having a terrific father-son adventure. Jerusha will do her mini-mester here at home with me, and I'll take my laptop to Starbucks during her shifts so I can be there during her 15-minute breaks.
It's not the perfect Christmas for our family, but I felt better about it yesterday when Colleen reminded us of that great and simple truth: "Perfect is the enemy of good."
Sometimes, you just do the best you can with what you got. And there is beauty in that, beyond perfection, beyond struggle, beyond what is expected. It's called "life."