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2017-12-13 / Loose Ends

Rocking it

The countdown begins
By Susan Nienow

There is nothing like a deadline to motivate me. I have a monumental deadline – well, maybe more of a breadbox-sized deadline – in five days and so many things to do before then. It’s a self-imposed deadline, some guests headed our way for a short visit. Most of the to-do list is small things. It’s just that there are so many of them.

There’s the gift buying: one overseas gift that needs to be wrapped and mailed; one package for daughter and son-in-law; one for son and daughter-in-law and two granddaughters; several gifts for neighbors and friends and my other half, of course. The gifts for my kids need to be mailed – I handpick gifts and usually add a check.

It takes longer because I do most of my shopping “offline.” I like to hold things, see the pictures in books, handle the ceramics and check the colors. I am not against the electronic buying for some things. Last year we bought one of the girls a rock polisher online. They loved it. And then the rock fascination was over. So maybe we will send them some colorful rocks to polish this year – see if we can reactivate that interest.

We don’t take credit for being terrifically creative. We just follow orders, as good grandparents should. No filler gifts and not a lot of gifts for the girls. OK, that’s probably good. They probably won’t get rocks from anyone else.

The decorating took a sharp turn when we (this is the royal we, since I don’t mess with electrical things) turned on the lights on our pre-lit tree and several more branches were out. These trees are meant to be replaced after several years when the lights go out strand after strand. Eventually, the tree has this zebra effect when the lights are on.

My other half has spent his free time the past several days taking the lights off the pre-lit tree so we can replace them with never-go-out lights. That decision was made after pricing new pre-lit trees.

Next come the fix-its, a few bits of paperwork, cleanup of the last three projects I did and a final cleanup of my office and laundry room/craft storage room. I have a habit of doing projects and then leaving the supplies and tools out to deal with another time. Now is that time. I have five days to finish all of this.

The problem – maybe the second or third problem – is that I have trouble with the finishing part of projects, lists, almost everything. Even the pressure of needing to get this all done in the next five days may not be enough to actually get it done.

I leave myself sticky notes and big notes so I don’t have the excuse of “I forgot” to fall back on. There must be some way I can trick myself into sticking with it until it’s finished. I would sleep so well. Maybe if someone came to help me – keep me focused through the coffee breaks?

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