Today is day 12 of Winter Break. 12 days of family and friends. Two dishes that seem to always be best served with a glass or two of a Malbec or Cabernet, or a nice blend…or champagne… or prosecco. My head hurts just thinking about it.
The last of our scheduled celebrations ended on New Year’s Day. It was sad to stand in the driveway with Jeff and the boys in the dark and wave good-bye to my best friend from college and her family as they drove away.
“That was fun, honey.”
“Of course it was. It’s always a blast with them.”
“It’s over now.”
“I know. It sucks.”
That night, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning. As I lay in bed, I clicked through everything I needed to get done this week in my mind. Everything I had neglected to do since the Friday before Christmas when the first family member (Jeff’s mom) made her descent at LAX. The client work, the doctor’s appointments, the boys’ activities, writing… exercise…hydrating…eating vegetables that aren’t wrapped in pork products or drenched in hollandaise sauce...
Of course when I finally pulled myself out of bed to start my day at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, I was completely congested and had a splitting headache. This one not induced by gratuitous alcohol consumption. The common cold had reared its ugly head.
I pressed on. The boys attended science and art camp, I worked away at my desk, did laundry, and was early to my 3 p.m. follow-up appointment with my surgeon that afternoon.
The next day, yesterday, looked about the same. More writing, a ukulele lesson for the boys following camp, a little time organizing my desk.
Last night, we booked tickets to the California Science Center for late this afternoon to finally see Endeavor, and the Cleopatra exhibit before it closes on Sunday.
As I closed my book and turned off the light on my bedside table last night, I kept thinking to myself:
Has it happened? Has it really happened? Has productivity and a shred of self-restraint actually re-entered our lives after more than a week of chaos and over indulgence?
Today, I rose early to shower before my quick, 8 a.m. dentist appointment. The boys joined me and we stopped for donuts on the way home (read: the beginning of the end).
I noticed a new text message on my phone as we left the donut shop. On a lark, I had sent a text to our dear, old friends in Pasadena about joining us at the Science Center and grabbing dinner together afterwards while I was booking our tickets last night. I knew they had family in town and tend to have a very busy schedule in general so I wasn’t optimistic but her text confirmed they were IN! (read: the middle of the end).
One jelly-donut and one multi-vitamin down, I was at my desk by 9:30, answering a few emails and reworking a messaging document for a client between texts about solidifying plans for the evening.
M: Welcome to stay for pajama jammy jam (read: sleep-over). We have nothing tomorrow.
I ignored this message. It was too early in the morning to admit to myself what was surely going to happen that night. The conflict began in my mind.
It is a new year. You are disciplined. You are productive. You’ve been that way for at least two days now. You have had plenty of opportunity to celebrate and indulge.
But you didn’t get to see them at all over break. You had to cancel your annual Christmas dinner out because of the stomach flu. You were so looking forward to that dinner.
You can go and just enjoy the Science Center with the kids and have a civilized dinner and come home to your own bed. You are an adult. That is what adults do. You do not have to act like a teenager just because you have known them since you were a teenager.
And that is when my inside voice became my outside text.
L: Right now I say no to sleepover because it is basically a green light for more bad choices. Realistically, we will be raising our glasses to bad choices at roughly 8 p.m. tonight.
M: Love it. Will pick up pasta and some yummy wine to seal the deal.
I went downstairs to the kitchen to grab my back-up, second donut (glazed) and a glass of Emergen-C. (Read: The End.)
There’s always next week. I told myself as I took the final bite of my glazed donut and sat back down at my desk.
And that’s the first full week of January. The kids will be back in school. Makes more sense to really kick it into gear next week.
Happened to play on Dwight Yoakam Pandora during the above complete disintegration of all self-discipline. Probably one of the best songs about Bad Choices.