Head-Spinning Season

Edith/Maddie here, delighted it’s almost Thanksgiving, which means family, friends, and food!

But it’s also a period when my head is spinning.

Marmolejo1489, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

No, I don’t mean like the girl in the 1973 movie. But I do have a lot on my plate right now, and it feels like bumper cars.

METRO96, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s why:

A. I have a book due December first, which is in nine days. Four Leaf Cleaver, Country Store #11, is still too short. I’m still not sure I’ve gone deep enough into the characters and their motivations and their secrets. This is late for me. I’m usually ready to send in a book a month early. Gulp.

B. I have a book releasing November thirtieth, which is in eight days. Have I arranged enough guest appearances, written my release newsletter, scheduled the right kind of posts? (Hint – the answer is NO.)

C. My son and his wife are coming tomorrow through Friday. Is the guest room ready, do I have all my pie makings in house, have I planned a couple of vegetarian dinners for them? (Hint – uh, not yet.) At least I ordered a fresh local turkey in time, and guests are bringing all the sides.

D. The minute all this flurry is over, I have to pack my bag for my first airplane flight since March 2020. I’m taking a quick trip, leaving December third, to San Francisco to see my 94-year-old Uncle Dick and my cousins. I am exceedingly nervous about traveling among a bunch of people whose vaccination status I will never know. Yikes. (My relatives, blessedly, are among the fully vaccinated.)

E. On top of all this, the next book is knocking at my brain. “When are you getting back to us?” say my historical characters from a not-yet-under-contract manuscript I didn’t quite finish last summer. I can’t wait to dive back into it.

See what I mean? But throwing my hands in the air and screaming isn’t an option. And really, I’m living my dream. It could be a lot worse.

So I’ll do what I always do. Make lists. Put my head down and work. Breathe deeply and drink a lot of water. Get out for at least one long walk every day. Take time to enjoy my loved ones, because that’s more important than anything. I know it’ll all be fine, and it’ll all get done. Right? (Uh, just say Yes…)

Readers: How do you get through times when you have a lot on your plate?

26 Thoughts

  1. EDITH, Yep, I agree you have a lot of your plate, and not being as prepared as much as like is probably stressing you more.

    Deep breaths, and make plenty of lists, and ask for help/delegate where you can (as you did in C).

    As for your first long-distance flight, good luck. In Canada, only fully vaccinated passengers (except children under 12) are now allowed to take a plane, train or ferry. This is a bit controversial (took effect in late October). But Canada’s vaccination rates is very high in most provinces (e.g. 88% fully vaccinated adults in Ontario), so it does give me a bit more peace of mind about who I am sitting next to on the trip.

      1. Well, Canadians are pretty compliant. We don’t have massive violent protests like in Europe with the announcement of new national lockdowns and other COVID restrictions.

        I hope you are able to come to Ottawa and visit your sister.
        I would love to meet up with you!

  2. For me, it’s divide and conquer. Meaning I try to concentrate on the task at hand either working to completion or until I need to step back and regroup. Then move to the next most important thing on my list. We waste time and energy when we try to focus on all of it at one time. With smaller goals, we feel somewhat like we have accomplished something to be rewarded (like with your long walk) and then with a fresh mind and feeling revived we can move on.

    This all being said, I am a list maker trying to mark off more than I add. During holidays I had to learn that I “can’t” do it all and it’s quite alright to ask for help. And yes the most important thing is time spent with loved ones. Both time and the people we love are cherished but fleeting things that are best being in the moment making memories so as not to live in the world of “I wish I had”.

    Relax, take and breath and know you have this!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I probably have at least 3 lists going lol! Just like you, I put my head down and march right on. Daily walks and my zumba class keep the stress level low(ish) and remembering I always manage to get it all done helps! Good luck to you!!

  4. I am ever so sorry for all that stress you are experiencing all at once… I can relate with your obstacles to be overcome, especially the part about getting on a plane…My wife and I will have to face (masked) that soon enough. What I do to overcome stress is to thank God over and over and over again for all the blessings that I receive each moment of my life, and I plunged ahead… Someone, somewhere asked me once: How do you at an elephant? The correct answer is ONE SLICE AT A TIME :)- You will get through this period, and soon it will be part of your past, so look forward to all your accomplishments and blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Edith–I’m feeling the same. My copy-edits are due tomorrow, the same day we leave for my daughter’s house. I’m making turnips and cookie dough today. (Cookie dough because Thanksgiving weekend will be my only chance to make Christmas cookies with my Virginia granddaughter.) I have a newsletter and a website update for a volunteer job and a newsletter of my own to go out as soon as I get back from the holiday. On the other hand, I got so freaked out about the supply chain, my Christmas shopping is done, so there’s that. WIP? hahahaha.

    1. Oh, Barb. Laughing! I didn’t even mention my newsletter, which I’m trying to get out tomorrow. Christmas shopping? Fuggedabout it, although I do need to give that some thought at some point.

  6. I hear you. Fiscal year end at my job is November 30th. And we are off for Thanksgiving, plus they gave us the Wednesday before off this year. I’m looking forward to three days off this week, but that means I have a ton of work to do. Plus I will be super busy when I get back. And will there be enough time to get it all done and be ready for Christmas?

    Deep breath. It will all get done. Somehow.

  7. Deep breaths, and remember – when the going gets tough, the tough nap! May sound counterproductive, but it always energizes me and often I wake with the perfect priorities and solutions to how to get it all done and what can be put on the back burner.

  8. Make lists. Prioritize like mad. Be honest about what can be skipped (I really don’t have to dust before someone comes over.) Deputize wherever possible. Skip sleeping. J/K. Breathe.

    Good luck, Edith. You are a wonderful woman.

  9. I pray and make lists. Congratulations on your new release. Have a marvelous time with your family. Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. I generally use a mental list. Check off what I have accomplish and go forward. I do not let it get me down and roll with what happens. I always can ask either my husband or son if in a pinch. Happy Thanksgiving! Looking forward to your new book. I have the entire series.

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