Monday, December 25, 2006

Why My Holiday Wasn't

Because I am still new to time management and not trying to please everyone (at the tender age of 25 ...) is hard for me. That's the short reason.

The more involved answer is because I spent the holidays with my family, attending dinner parties and cocktails, which is a tremendous amount of work. One must make polite conversation, dress in a monkey suit (shirt & tie, at least) eat catered food (which was pretty good, I will admit) and spend the night as a guest in a family member's home, being cheerful the whole while. Given the choice, I would much rather have preferred to sit this holiday out on the couch alternating between a football game and random Wikipedia pages.

Which is interesting because, technically, I did have that choice but I chose the social route instead. Why did I do this? I ask myself this question as I sit at a computer a good hour and a half from home, awaiting a 2nd cocktail and dinner party to attend, knowing full well that I will get home late & tired from my so-called 'holiday'.

I chose to spend time doing all these things because they are important to the people I care about. Life is short, and many of my loved ones are elderly. Bluntly, they will not be here forever and I am aware of this. Thus, in my head I pull out the balance that weighs irritation to me against satisfaction to them. I am playing the long ball here, figuring that the short term discomfort to me is a generous reap of joy for them, and I will have many years without them in which to indulge my Wiki data fetish.

Life is a finite thing. People are a finite commodity (ah, the economist in me ...). I treasure my family (what's left of it) and the experiences we are lucky enough to share with one another. I spent the afternoon with my grandmother at a movie in Tiburon. Could I have been in Palo Alto sucking back a Bud and watching a game? Sure. But there will be other games. There will be other beers, but there may not be another lazy Christmas afternoon to spend with my grandmother at a local movie house. There may not be an opportunity for us to laugh together about what my uncle did the night before after his 3rd Cape Cod; and that party will most definitely not recur. So, all in all, even though my holiday has been far from relaxing or recuperative, it has been very special to me. I chose the harder route, and the spoils, while not immediately apparent, I feel will pay off down the road. Maybe that's me being wistful.

Happy Holidays to you and yours ...