Saturday, December 10, 2011

pre-Christmas Juggling . . .

This marking really puts a crimp in the Christmas spirit. Taking a day completely off is out of the question, because the essays must be returned at next week's exams, and I can only mark 10-12 a day without sending my back and shoulders into spasm.

Still, we've moved the marking operation to Vancouver this weekend where we're managing to fit in a few fun activities AND we'll foray out to pick up a few gifts.

Last night Paul and I had a lovely meal at a local favourite, The Twisted Fork on Granville Street and stopped by our daughter's place on the way home for a quick visit. I love that proximity -- I miss seeing my kids for regular hugs. And besides a hug from R, I got to cuddle the delightful Nola, who was having a sleepover at her auntie's. Good times!

On today's schedule: first up, my run; then we'll pick up Nola and drive her back to her Mom and dad's, maximizing the visiting ops; from there, we're heading to Vancouver Kidsbooks for some happy browsing and buying. This afternoon I have a facial booked at Luxe Lounge (where my daughter works as an RMT, although she won't be in there today), and this evening we're seeing R again for dinner.

Sometime in there, I'll be marking for several hours, but in that flurry of activities of outlined, the chore doesn't look so bad, does it?

And I'm determined not to be a Grinch . . . I reread this post from last year, remembering a few things about keeping the season sane and joyous. Perhaps you'll find it worth reading as well -- at least it has pictures, which I couldn't manage today.

So I'm off now: running, shopping, marking, having my face cared for, and, above all, smiling. . . . How about you?


  1. Your strategy for fun and pampering and then some marking sounds like a happy balance.
    Hugs from Nola must be a tonic for any stress:)

  2. Sending hugs and making you sandwiches in absentia. We're off to Hawaii for a few days in the midst of the pre-Christmas season. Which means there's no point in doing too much prep. Kind of liberating.

  3. It is a good idea to bracket marking with activities you love.

    LPC, I hope you have a good time in Hawaii. That sounds wonderful.

    Last year we traveled to Germany and Austria before Christmas, completely skipping the last-minute crush of festivities and the Christmas eve choral concert and service and it was definitely liberating!

  4. I just read both this post and the one you linked to as a little break from my own piles of marking. I'm hoping to finish by tomorrow so that I can take Monday off and just relax before I do a 3 day writing workshop and try to get some real momentum going in the research and writing department again.

    Enjoy Vancouver!

  5. While I haven't anything like the workload you do, I'm struggling to get work finished as well as prepare to fly overseas in less than 48 hours. I've booked myself a pedicure for the first day I'm there, downloaded some fun books to my Kindle and am focusing on the fact that once I'm on the plane, that's IT. (Oh, apart from the work I have to take with me ...)

  6. Sounds delightfully busy as opposed to grindy busy. Who will receive the childrens' books?

  7. I always wonder why it is that this great time of the year is marred by responsibility. Seriously, it's hard to stay merry when all the crap is flying around. But sounds like you're doing a very good job of it.

  8. I enjoyed reading your post from last year - mostly, I must admit, because I saw my own comment, looking forward to moving back to Canada! Yes, we are in our own home now, but I'm not quite in the Christmas spirit yet. The big box of our Christmas decorations has gone missing, we simply can't find it, and that makes me sad. However, I've been baking (not for us yet, for a special dinner at our school) and our Christmas Amazon order is in, so I'll get there slowly.
    I really don't know how you do it all!! P.

  9. P.S. And last year I told you we were going to see The Nutcracker at the Opera House - well, this weekend we are going to see it at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto!! P.

  10. Hostess; The best tonic ever!
    Lisa: Have a fabulous time soaking up warmth and relaxation. Avoiding the pre-Christmas stress, even better!
    Susan T: We've often thought of a Christmas in Europe, but can't afford to take the whole family (and some wouldn't want to go anyway) and couldn't think of being away from them -- not yet, at least. Still hold out for the possibility some day.
    Raquelita: doesn't it kill you how so many people think we have it easy, holiday-ing once classes are over?! Sounds as if you intend to work right up to Christmas and then again after it until the term starts. That workshop sounds like a great way to get some research traction again.

  11. Tiffany: Sometimes, those kind of tough travel deadlines around Christmas are great for setting a limit on how much fussing one can do. I hope your pedicure on arrival gives you a clear message that it's time to kick back (even if you do have to sneak some work time into your days). Enjoy! Merry Christmas to you!
    Duchesse: We've amassed a wee pile of gorgeous picture books, and they're all for you-know-who , , ,
    K: Well, you're the Christmas inspiration, just a regular gift machine with the cooking and the baking and the sewing and the knitting. But yes, balancing responsibility and fun and sanity . . . it's all good, right?
    Patricia: Oh dear! I'm so sorry those Christmas decorations have gone missing -- let's hope they're still enroute somewhere and will eventually resurface. Meanwhile, sounds as if you've rolled a new tradition into the repertoire with The Nutcracker. And this year your boys will be seasoned observers, recognizing music, comparing performances. Enjoy!

  12. New to your blog and I love your island. I am sure will be a frequent visitor

  13. The academic calendar certainly does put a crimp in Christmas preparations. I have to say that I've scaled way, way back on what I do. I admire your willingness to seek the right balance!

  14. I saw Daisy at the weekend, she seems a lot happier, I came home a sobbed for half an hour, I don't see here nearly enough. I am currently focussing on what to pack, just in case out flight takes off this year. The only thing keeping me going is the though of being able to read and paint for two and a half weeks away from the stress of marking and teaching. That facial sounds good though.

  15. Turquoise: So kind of you to stop by -- I love that we're both near the water, but such different climates.
    Anne: I've changed Christmas so much in deference to having a full-time position -- some regrets about that, but I love my work, love my sanity -- got to find some kind of balance, right?
    Alison: I know what you mean re Daisy -- I miss mine as well. As for your holiday, I keep thinking how much saner your system is. I will barely get my marking done, grades collated and filed by Christmas, then we're back Jan. 3rd, and during that time I need to prep material for next term. Exhausting even to think about right now! Hope your travel plans go well and you get some lovely down time.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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