Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Destination Life : : Merry Multi-Tasking

lifes journey bigger_thumbAnne McAllister is wrapping packages and doing taxes and baking cookies and … and … and … and, oh yes, writing a book.

Back in the good old days when I was raising four kids and four dogs and a bionic cat and writing three books (well, two and two thirds) a year, I thought nothing of multi-tasking.  In fact I didn’t know how NOT to multi-task.

Those days are behind me.  Or somewhere.  I can’t remember where I put them.

Now I’m trying to get all the mundane stuff out of my way before we have grandkids everywhere for the holidays.  And, honestly, it isn’t working.  I have a greater understanding for my own mother now. She was totally NOT LIKE ME.  She thrived on ‘one thing at a time’ and ‘everything in its place.’  And I never did. But now I see that there could possibly be an up side to having things all sorted and settled so one can ‘enjoy life.’ 

This is a theoretical construct, you understand. It has never happened. It never happened to her, either, but she regretted it. I never did – but this year I’m finding her idea of heaven not a bad one.  I see that it could be enjoyable.  But I’m still not close – and likely never will be.  But I appreciate her sentiments more. 

That said, the reason this blog is up later than usual is that I’ve multi-tasked my little heart out today – and it wasn’t until ten p.m. where I live that I suddenly thought, “Oh, drat. It’s 4 a.m. in England.”  (England being the arbiter of all things Pink Heart)  That meant my blog was seriously overdue. So, my apologies to all you people on the other side of the globe where it is already tomorrow and you are wondering where your daily fix, er, blog piece is.

You and my editor, both. She’s wondering where my book is. So am I. I think it’s lurking around in the  right hemisphere of my brain (at least I hope so) where at some point – though probably not until after December 25th – I will let it all come pouring out in (we all hope) perfect dramatic structure and scintillating prose.  Do I hear you saying, “Good luck with this?”  I thought so.

But that’s life – destination or journey. That’s writing. It happens alongside other things all the time. It never gets to be the ONLY things I do. It always competes for space in my life. And right now, it’s competing with more than its fair share of other things that Need To Be Done.

JuletræetI love Christmas. I love the decorating trees and making cookies (I’m less keen on quarterly tax preparations, but there is a certain balance to life, knowing it has to be done).  I love the carol services and decorating the wreath (though I have a heavy hand with a glue gun if not carefully supervised).  I love the family and the noise and the wrapping and unwrapping. I love the promise of birth and life and hope. 

It’s one of the reasons I like writing Christmas stories, like Breaking the Greek’s Rules.   Books set at Christmas allow me to wallow in all the things I love about the season.  My heroines – like Daisy in this one – end up multi-tasking just about as much as I do.  But they still remember the reason for the season.  They still value the promise, the potential, the love.

Writing this, disjointed though I fear it is, has been a blessing for me. It’s given me a quiet moment to step back and STOP multi-tasking for a moment, to think about what is important – and to see all the rest of the stuff I have done and will continue to do in that light. 

I wish you all the blessings of the season.  I hope, amid your own multi-tasking, that you can focus on the things that make your life worthwhile.  I think that, despite our different approaches to the holiday, that what both my mother and I had in common all along.



Anne’s current book, Breaking the Greek’s Rules, is available in UK now – and worldwide through bookdepository.com (or .co.uk) postpaid.  If you haven’t overdosed on Christmas already – and you find a quiet time to read and reflect – perhaps you’ll pick it up and find out what happens this Christmas for Daisy Connolly and Alexandros Antonides. 

Photo by Malene Thyssen (Own work) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

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