February 14, 2014

It's Valentine's Day?

Valentine’s Day always seems to sneak up on me.  The aisles of candy and heart-shaped boxes in the store don’t clue me in for some reason.  Maybe because we start getting pounded over the head with it all before Christmas is fully over and by the time it’s time to prepare for Valentine’s Day, it’s all become background noise.

 Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My husband is slightly better than I am.  Around February 12th, he starts asking what I want for Valentine’s Day.  I’ll stare at him, the blank look on my face mirroring my thoughts because I didn’t realize it had sneaked up on me.  Again.  (Same thing happens for our anniversary and my birthday.  Deer in headlights kind of thing.) 

I’ve tried keeping a wish list.  Doesn’t work.  For a wish list to be effective, you actually have to update it.  Go figure. 

Sometimes, I just buy myself a present and let him know what “he” got me.  I get exactly what I want and he’s off the hook.  Everybody wins.

If my gift was the only thing I had to worry about, there wouldn’t be a problem.  It’s remembering gifts and/or valentines for everyone else that gets me.  I’m not the kind of girl who can grab something off the shelf and call it good.  I wish.  Things would be so much easier if I could grab a box of candy and shove it in someone’s hands. 

However, due to my love language of gift-giving (yes, I subscribe to that belief), the gifts I give have to mean something.  My goal is to make the recipient speechless, burst into tears (the good kind), or put a genuine smile on their face.  Anything less and I consider the gift a blow to my semi-fragile self-esteem.

Enter: STRESS.

This is why I hate holidays.  I love the idea behind them, but not the practical application.

Years ago, I felt the same about birthdays.  I did my best to remember to send a card and call my family for their birthdays, but I often spaced it.  There’s this meme going around that says something about a woman’s mind being a dozen open tabs on an internet browser.  I find that mental image fairly accurate, but it needs to be multiplied by a hundred or more.

One year, I completely forgot my father-in-law’s birthday.  No card, no call, nothing.  When I realized what happened, I felt horrible.  He never said anything about it, which made it worse.  He’s somewhat soft-spoken and sweet as well as being the kind of person you don’t want to let down.  I swore never to let it happen again.

Thank heavens for technology.   It took hours, but I entered every birthday into Google calendar and synced it with my phone.  Each special day has an alert one week in advance so it can yell at me to get a card in the mail.  There’s also an alert same day so I can call or text.   No more missed birthdays!

And now that I think about it, I probably ought to do the same thing for holidays.  Guess I know what my next project will be…

Side note:  I swear, if all my electronics died right now, I would be screwed.  It’s the ONLY way I get anything done!

MORAL OF THE STORY: (Or “How This Can Be Applied to the Writing Process”)
How many times have you wanted to enter a writing contest and missed the deadline because life got in the way?  Or had an assignment, draft, synopsis, or outline due and completely forgot about it until the day before?  Do what it takes to never miss a deadline!  Set an alarm on your phone.  Write it on the calendar and circle it in thick red marker, marking off each day.  Make a paper chain and tear off a link every morning.  You have enough to remember as it is, creating a fictional world.  You don’t need to clutter your mind with mundane things like deadlines.  Save yourself the stress!

Consider it a present from me.

~ Lysandra James ~

Obligatory end-of-post question:
What was the worst thing you’ve ever forgotten?

1 comment:

  1. I forget a lot of things too, but since I'm only in junior high, they're not all that important for the most part. The worst thing I missed recently was my friend's birthday party. Of course, I still felt horrible because she loves nothing more than spending time with her friends, so I'm working on hunting down an invisible ink pen for her because she likes writing her secret plans for her stories where we can't read them.
    Personally, I just buy something en-masse for Valentine's day. For instance, this year I bought 75 cent notebooks and a Reece's peanutbutter heart for each of my five "inner-circle" friends- who all happen to be writers :D I spent all of $8.46 on a totally meaningful gift for everyone I wanted to get gifts for (family doesn't count since my brother knows I don't get candy in school to share with him and my parents know they haven't paid me yet this month for cleaning the bathroom). Honestly, when it's the day before or day of and event I totally forgot, I usually have a checklist:
    What kinds of things do they like?
    Is this object similar?
    How can I dress it up?
    My love language is gift-giving as well, but so long as I can assign some meaning to the object- an excuse, if you will- my conscience usually lets me get away with a second-rate gift and candy.
    When in doubt: buy bags of candy.


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