I am a self-diagnosed work-a-holic. I jokingly say that I'm looking for a good 12 step recovery program for that. Some people think that all teachers only work from 8-3 five days a week and get lots of time off. I would like to state here that I work 365 days a year. I only get paid for 198 days. Each vacation, you can find me hold up in the corner grading papers or planning lessons. Not so this year.
I've decided that this vacation, I'm out to perfect the fine art of doing nothing. That's right people, I'm quitting my work addiction cold turkey. So far, I'm doing well with no withdrawal symptoms.
During Christmas, my two main jobs are to eat and to be with family. My mother is the best cook in the world. Eating is something I don't have a problem doing. Family...well, that's another story. My family tree is intertwined. My brother is married to my husband's sister. A brother/sister married a brother/sister. Other families have to split their Christmas celebrations up, but in our family, we just have one big get together that lasts several days. I sometimes get anxious in large groups of people, so I have to pace myself to get through the holiday. So far, I'm doing well. No one has thrown anything at me, so we'll consider that a good thing.
Here are some of the people that I have encountered over the holiday so far...
1) My husband David--I encounter him all the time so this isn't a surprise
2) My daughter Raelynn--see explanation for number 1
3) My mother Beverly--she keeps us fed, overfed, and then nauseated from eating too much good food.
4) My dad Omis--he never sits still. He just had knee surgery, so he's been sitting more still than normal. He watches the Fox News Channel 24 hours a day.
5)My older brother Hugh--he lives in Denver and is married to my husband's sister Melissa. He hurt his back again so he's been to the doctor twice and spends time icing down his back. He thinks he has now burned his back from the ice and is on his way to frostbite.
6) My sister-in-law Melissa--she is married to Hugh (see #5) and is missing her grandson, Jayden. He's six months old and very cute. They've been married for over 22 years. She's as close to a sister as I've ever had.
7) My nephew Christian--he is Hugh and Melissa's son and is moving here to live with my parents for awhile. He's 20.
8) My father-in-law Leland--he is David's best friend. We see him at least once a week. He lives over an hour away.
9) My father-in-law's wife Mary Ellen: David's mother died right before we got married. Mary Ellen loves Christmas and gets along with Raelynn real well.
10) My sister-in-law Beth: David and Melissa's youngest sister. She lives an hour away. We've seen her at a family dinner and we met her family for bowling the other day.
11) My sister-in-law's husband Roy: I don't know if I would call him my brother-in-law yet. You'd have to meet him to understand what I mean. He works on an oil rig on the coast.
12) My niece Allison: Beth's oldest daughter. Allison's father is John. I haven't seen him yet this trip. Allison is in the ninth grade.
13) My niece Caitlyn: Beth's middle daughter. She is in the seventh grade.
14) My nephew Conner: Beth's youngest child. He is in the fifth grade. I got to be in the delivery room when he was born. That was an amazing experience.
15) Jason: Jason is my niece Allison's boyfriend. I don't know much about him. I only shook his hand when I met him.
16) Miranda: She is my nephew Christian's girlfriend that lives in Oklahoma. She came to visit and spent the night at my parents' house.
17) My sister-in-law Jo: She is the oldest child in David's family. She lives in Texas.
18) My brother-in-law Jack: He is married to Jo. My brother introduced him to Jo.
19) My nephew Richie: He's Jo and Jack's only child. He works at a rubber making plant and lives in Texas.
20) Nikki: She is Richie's wife. I've only met her twice and haven't spoken to her much so it feels funny calling her my niece.
21) Kennedi and Dylan: These are Richie and Nikki's kids. They are 5 and 4.
22)Lacey: She is a friend of Richie and Nikki's and lives with them. I didn't get a chance to speak to her.
23) My uncle Robert: He lives next door to my parents. He is my dad's older brother. He likes to come over and play cards.
24) My aunt Mary: She's married to my Uncle Robert. I can't describe her. You'd have to meet her to get the full experience.
25) My uncle Tommy: He is the brother closest in age to my dad. He dropped by for just a few minutes. He lives outside of town but I don't see him very much.
26) My aunt Dicie: She's married to my Uncle Tommy. I see her even less than Uncle Tommy.
27) Shirley: She lives next door to my parents too. She comes to all of our family functions.
28) Michelle: Some random renter of a house my parents' own. She asked to talk to my dad outside so I didn't get a chance to wish her a Merry Christmas.
29) Assorted family members: We had a catfish dinner the other night for family from David's mother's side of the family. There were assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins there. A lot of the people I've already mentioned were there too.
I'm sure there are some folks that I've forgotten. I've sat around and done a whole lot of nothing so my mind has turned to mush. I think another week of this and I may have the nasty work-a-holic addiction broken.
Let's hope so....cause breaking it is the only thing that I'm working hard at.
Life is complicated.
14 hours ago