"Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, let's keep preparing till we fall down flat!"
That's a bit how it feels at the moment. People sometimes say to me in the last few days before Christmas, that as a vicar, 'I suppose this is your busy time'. Actually, no. The last few days, with all the main seasonal services done, is often a bit quiet, giving opportunity for some nice visits.
No, the time when you start to feel you're coming unglued is NOW! Early November through to mid-December. It can easily become somewhat overwhelming with all the usual weekly stuff still needing doing and all the Christmas stuff pressing in, and over the weekend I realised I'd reached that point where you either stop voluntarily or you'll just drop down anyway. It isn't a pleasant feeling. Kind of like coming unglued. Hence my old saying, "I'd rather unwind than unravel."
So I took two days off. Yes, two whole days, like a normal person. Like a weekend, except it was Monday and Tuesday. On Monday I went out on my bike and watched some TV. Yesterday I went to London on the train and spent most of my time in Harrods. I love Harrods. I bought things.
In the evening I went to see a film with Tom, my elder son, then we watched a program at home about how the nation celebrates Christmas. It was really nice.
And today? I feel restored - enough for now.
Still trying to sell the first book, 'A Christmas Calling', which is doing quite well. Get one if you haven't already! It'll set you up for a festive Christmas. But also adding to the pressure is having to gear up for the second one, to be released in the New Year in preparation for all the hopes of the new-life season, called 'A Spring Awakening'. It shows us how David and Angela, the two characters from the first book, and their friends, go forward together.
In some ways, it's enormously hopeful.
But only because, in other ways, it's terrifying.
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