In the Eye of the Holiday Storm
Posted by Nancy Northcott Nov 26 2016, 12:39 am
If you’ve been anywhere near a television lately, you know the holiday chaos has started in the US with Black Friday sales. Crowded shopping centers and stressed-out people and distracted drivers will be everywhere this weekend and will persist, in varying degrees, right up through December 24.
If you’ve experienced any of this, you may want to take a look at this photo of Ocean Isle Beach, NC, and mentally put yourself in it. Unless, of course, you enjoy the crowds and the hectic pace, in which case, more power to you!
My first taste of the holiday chaos came, to my surprise, on Wednesday. I went to our local Michaels in the late morning. When I came out, about 12:30 PM, the parking lot was a sea of cars with multitudes circling like sharks in the water. I had one other place to go, at the other end of the strip center, but I looked at that mass of cars and decided to walk. I had a parking space already, and I meant to keep it.
I didn’t venture out yesterday. I’ll do my shopping in dibs and dabs so as not to join the Holiday Stress Club. I’ve already planned the ways I’m going relax after my various plunges into the crowd.
You may remember that I enjoy jigsaw puzzles. Over the years, we’ve acquired quite a few, so I have plenty to choose from. Yesterday, I finished this one.
I recommend them as both a way to relax after a hectic trip to the mall and a way to distract the forebrain so the subconscious can work out things like, say, plot issues.
Then there are movies. Is anybody else really, really excited to see Star Wars: Rogue One? I’m thinking about it a lot, so here’s photo of me with R2D2 at Charleston SC’s Atomacon last year.
For this movie, the dh, the boy, and I will likely brave the crowds. We did so last year for The Force Awakens, and it was worth it.
I haven’t been to the Okefenokee in more than two years, not since Duchesse and I took our (possibly infamous) research road trip to Georgia. I really want to get back there, and looking at pictures of that wild, peaceful place makes me feel as though it really hasn’t been that long since I visited. So I look at the photos and think about what I want to check out for future books.
Finally, there’s always reading. Of course. As soon as I finish editing the current WIP, I plan to start Matthew Beaumont’s Night Walking: A Nocturnal History of London. It’s a look at London after dark, spanning the eras from Chaucer to Dickens. So I’ll escape into London through the ages, when life was simpler, and maybe pick up some story ideas along the way.
Doing any one of these slips me onto an island of calm despite the chaos swirling all around. It’s like being in the eye of the hurricane.
What about you? Do you enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle? If so, what do you like best about it? If not, what are your favorite escapes?
What book are you reading next?
Are you planning to see Rogue One? If so, are you going as soon as it’s out, or are you waiting (as we usually do) for the crowds to thin out a bit?