It is the grayest, nastiest day out right now. Dark and rain splattering against the windows. Ugh.

I think I’m still in denial about winter. Not to mention Christmas. But the days have been pretty mild here, and there are some leaves still on the trees, so it’s been a little too easy, I guess, to act like it’s still fall. (Summer, obviously, being a bit of a stretch.) I hate these gray days, and the fact that it gets dark at 5pm. I’m trying to just push through it, but it’s hard. Especially when, like now, it’s dark at 8:50 am, too. Like I said: Ugh.

But there are some things to look forward to. Like: The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, which is my very favorite holiday show, on next week. And the fact that this Sunday, at 3pm, I’ll be reading at one of my very favorite independent bookstores, Malaprops, in Asheville, NC. (If you’re in the area, come by!) And of course, there’s also Christmas Shopping, which, when I can get around the stress of it, is a lovely excuse to go the mall and spend money without feeling guilty. In fact, I was just at the Gap on Monday, armed with several discount cards they keep sending me—I am such a sucker—to buy presents for people. And, um, for myself. Oops.

This is the key, I think, is to try to keep a balance. I was reading O magazine yesterday, and they had all this stuff about surviving the holidays. How you shouldn’t strive to be perfect, maybe not do EVERYTHING you always do, pick the things that are most important and let the others go by the wayside.

(Like Christmas cards: I think I’m skipping that, this year. I was wavering, but then I was at the post office, mailing something, and the very tired man behind the counter asked me if I needed stamps for Christmas cards. I think this is the Post Office equivalent of “You want fries with that?” Anyway, I said no, I wasn’t doing cards this year, and he looked at me, very seriously, and said, “Thank You.” So I’m doing the post office AND myself a favor. How do you like that?)

My favorite tip from O was this one, though: they said everytime you put a key in a lock this month, make a point to take a deep breath. Like forced relaxation. I am determined to try and do this. (Although I locked and unlocked my office several times yesterday, forgetting each time. But I will do better today! I will) Doesn’t have to be a day. Or even an hour. Just a moment, and a breath. Yes. I like that.

Have a good day everyone!