So. Here we are on Black Friday. A. has the day off today and is in the other room listening to podcasts while I’m stuck here in Spare Oom until 4pm. Neither of us are going to be heading out for any shopping any time soon (unless that includes heading to the local corner store for a few groceries). She’s done most of her shopping online, and I’ll be doing that later today myself.
With the many post-college jobs I’ve held over the years, I’m used to working on holidays and busy shopping times. I dealt with the Q4 sales season at HMV for a few years which actually started mid-September but really kicked into high gear on Black Friday; that’s when we’d put out all the Christmas cds and prepare the huge amount of backstock of the big sellers. During the Yankee Candle years my schedule got truly wonky; ten-hour days, six days a week, and quadruple the volume going out. Between those two jobs, it’s a wonder I still found the time to write! [Noted, I did get sick a lot more often at that time, due to exhaustion and unhealthy eating and smoking habits.]
Even when I moved away from the retail and warehouse jobs, I still had to deal with the public: the last snowy commute when I lived in New Jersey, the last-minute calls of businesses holding their banking until the absolute last minute, and so on. I don’t think I’ve ever taken any Christmas-season weeks off in my life, at least not without chalking them up as sick days.
So yeah, I’m well-versed in holiday stress.
That said…I do my best not to let it get to me. Sure, I completely understand the irritation of long lines, clueless shoppers, squealing kids, long work hours, and so on. But I decided early on that these petty grievances are part and parcel of the experience, and chose not to dwell on them. Too often, negativity spawns more negativity. My complaining about the idiot in front of me to the guy behind me is going to make that guy think ‘you know, you’re right’, and he’ll end up in a bad mood. Life’s too short to be irritated by everything under the sun.*
This is the time of year where I choose to embrace everything good that’s happened, on a personal level and otherwise. Time to listen to all the great albums that came out this year. Time to bask in the fact that I self-published a book, with three others coming out in the not-too-distant future. Time to think about how lucky I am to have great friends and family. Time to think about how awesome A. is. And just enjoy the positivity that comes around.
* – Granted…this isn’t about me willfully ignoring truly bad things in the world. I’m just as frustrated and saddened as most people by the events in Paris, the Syrian refugee situation, and at this very moment, the shooting in Colorado Springs, for example. The point to this post is about dealing with petty irritations that really don’t amount to much in the grander scheme of things.