Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why you might not get a (homemade) Christmas gift from me this year…

Very different post today.  Not crafty, but it is related to my lack of craftiness of late, I guess.  Today I made a tough decision to scrap much of what is on my TODO list before Christmas and try to enjoy what I CAN do before then.  Well, it’s a first world problem at it’s best.  Some people make a tough decision to not eat so they can afford shoes for their kids.  I admit it, I have a rather charmed life and most of the stress and pressure I feel is completely self induced.  Anyway, I decided to stop giving myself stomach aches about stuff I just couldn’t get to before Christmas and let it go.  Start fresh at the next opportunity (after New Years) and see it as a chance to do things right moving forward.  I do this often, I SUCK at letting go, admitting defeat, and starting over.  I should see it as a lesson learned and not a failure to be perfect, which no one is or could ever be.  I’ll regularly beat myself up over something and lose sleep for 6 months, rather than just admit that no one but me really cares THAT much about the thing I am failing to do. I’ve let myself become too distracted by work, when it’s not what SHOULD be the major focus of my life right now.  Focus on the words “my” and “now”.  Not everyone has the same work-life balance equation, and mine has certainly changed a lot over the years. 


Notice I didn’t say “I’m too busy”.  That’s crap. I’ve stopped doing that, saying that, because it’s pretentious and implies that the things making my life crazy is more important than everything else’s activities.  Everyone is busy, EVERYONE IS BUSY, we just all choose to prioritize different things. Right or wrong, we consciously let things take over our life, sometimes it’s not the meaningful things.  For years I *chose* to travel, I *chose* to work ungodly numbers of hours, I *chose* to volunteer for extra-curricular activities related to work, I chose to over achieve and do more than expected to prove myself (whatever that really means) to everyone, work-work-work. And hey, for a while it was awesome, and I loved it!  I’ll never ding Microsoft for pushing me to exceed and be a super-star.  It’s the culture there and that’s OK.  Being at Microsoft has given me an incredible sense of confidence, has provided me with the best network a girl could ask for, and has opened up some amazing opportunities to me.  The craziness I’ve been living there, it’s what the job requires, it’s what they expect from their employees, and I agreed to it and thrived in it for years.  It’s been a fun, wild ride and I certainly do not regret it for a single second.  It’s definitely gotten more hectic and more demanding over the years, and I’ve also started realizing that 37 year old Angela needs something different than 31 year old Angela did.  Now, I want to be home more, to not travel, to not work nights and weekends, and to not feel immense pressure all the time to be the best in a company full of amazing people also trying to be the best.  Not that where I am going isn’t full of amazing people, it’s just a totally different world than life at Microsoft.  Once I’ve moved on at the end of the month, someone else will step into my role and do all the things I have now decided are just not my path anymore, and they will love it like I did.  And that’s OK.  I’m having a hard time shaking the feeling that I’m a big failure for walking away, letting down what few women are here to represent at Microsoft, which is dumb because I’d never think less of someone else for making a decision like this.  I’d call it brave, smart, etc.  And the well wishes, and widespread sadness at my leaving has reinforced that I made a difference there, that I was valued, and will be missed.   In a company that size, that’s saying something.  Anyway, I digress…


Back to my point. I haven’t been home to work on stuff, and when I am home I’m either frantically catching up on email or planning the next trip until I’m too beat down mentally, and unmotivated physically to do anything non-work related.  It’s all I could do to put up the tree this year, I’ve made no cards, I’ve made no presents, I’ve not even wrapped the ones I did manage to buy.  I’ve barely touched my craft stuff except for a few fun wedding projects I worked on with friends.  I use the excuse that my attic has been gutted for months now, and most of my craft supplies are not easily accessible, but again with the first world problems.  If I really wanted to I could get stuff down and work on it.  Well, in my defense this is what I am dealing with.  The first was taken just before we tore it apart near the end of December, the other is what the attic has looked like since the beginning of October:

WP_000002  IMG_0920

You gotta admit it’s enough to take the wind out of anyone’s sails…  I’m hoping I get my crafting spark back next year when the dust settles, after the craft attic is put back together, and I have a new routine that more closely suits the daily life I am hoping to get back to.  I’m going to give a lot of credit to this lovely blogger, who I discovered via Twitter about 8 months ago.  Great advice can be found there almost daily, regardless of what your path in life is.  Here was one of the ones that really woke me up:  I’m trying to incorporate some of her advice into my daily routine to control the chaos.  It’s certainly been a big help and has lent me some much needed perspective. Hope you get some good tips out of it too. 


So, long story short, if you don’t get a homemade card or gift this year, it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s because I need to love me, and my life again first. Did that make you gag a little? Smile


  1. I so agree with you!! I broke down and bought cards from the store and most of the handmade gifts I had planned for this year just are not going to happen... at least not till after the new year. It is much more important to take care of yourself and spend time with the ones you love! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Aw, I'm blushing! I'm glad you have found some use at!

    I am going to be doing a major overhaul myself in the new year, and it will be on display for everyone in the world to see. Yikes!

    BTW, I bailed on the holidays this year. No cards *at all*, no cookies, no candy, no crafts. I asked my daughter what was important to her, and I'm hitting those items. When my hubby suggested no gifts, I almost shouted with relief! :) So you're not alone.