I love starting projects. I am an idea man. I love getting the idea to do something, doing the planning and gearing up to start. If I had a spirit animal, it would be Michael Keaton in Night Shift.
I love the whole “ideas” part of things. I get an idea, I am bursting with enthusiasm, I am raring to go out and conquer.
And then I lose focus or get bored. BUT WE ARE NOT FOCUSING ON THAT TODAY. OH NO WE ARE NOT.
Because I am here to talk about the first bit, the enthusiasm. Because if there’s anything that gets me all excited and full to bursting with ideas, it’s this time of year. From, say, the beginning of October, right through to about the second or third week of January, I am chock full of great ideas and harebrained schemes and cunning plans.
And then, when the holidays are over, I lose the impetus to carry on. Which is why my house is a graveyard for abandoned projects. OH SORRY WE WERE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THAT.
At least, not right now. Anyway.
It starts, usually, with preparing for Halloween, and in recent years, Stinkerbelle’s costume. Although I will admit, I am not one of those people who goes all out and decorates for Halloween or anything. My ideas engine usually isn’t in top gear in time to accomplish anything like that. But as Halloween passes into November, something kicks in.
Right now, I am bubbling over with ideas. I’ve already started Christmas shopping (to be fair, I usually start that in the spring, because we need to take advantage of sales and spread out the expense.) I am making lists of things to bake for Christmas. I am visualizing fabulous decorating ideas and researching the cost to do this and the shipping to do that. I am getting all these great gift ideas.
And beyond Christmas, I am looking into gift ideas for my birthday. I think of great ways we could celebrate the New Year. I am thinking of knitting plans and challenges for the new year. I am looking at vacation possibilities for future years.
I am inspired.
The last few months of the year are a real feast for the senses for me. I love being bombarded with images of delicious food and the recipes to create it. I dream of a fabulously decorated home. I like the idea of being crafty. I love gift giving to others.
But the thing is? We don’t entertain. We’re not terribly social. We don’t go visiting or any of those things. But it’s just the IDEA of all these things that gets me. I like to have them… just BECAUSE.
I’m a magpie at this time of year. Shiny, colourful things turn my head, and I am all OOH OOH I MUST HAVE THAT OR I WILL DIE. Not for ME, mind you — although the odd idea for a birthday gift or Xmas gift does come with all the inspiring ideas — but rather I like to have it for the sake of seeing it come together and the excitement therein.
The problem comes… well, there are a few flaws in my plans, actually.
First of all is the limited time frame. All these plans and ideas and things to do in just a couple of months? Of course my imagination will crosscheck reality right into the boards, and I will be all DO ALL THE THINGS! But in reality, I just never have enough time to bake all that I would bake, and hand-craft all the little gifty things I would give, and lovingly knit all the knitting I would knit.
There’s just no way. It’s not going to happen.
And then, on a more practical note: WHO THE HELL’S GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THIS? Because I am telling you, it doesn’t matter how many “budget this” and “cheap that” and “how to do everything in the universe on a dollar a day” websites and magazines and books you read, or how many discounts you apply or clearance sections you visit or dollar stores you scour… If you are planning to DO IT ALL?
That shit adds up.
So, eventually, as the steam runs out of my festive choo choo train and it goes off the tracks and onto the siding of reality, I find myself with a whole lot of bits of stuff, components of projects, clutter of unrealized potential. And like Bill Blazejowski feeding mayonnaise to tuna fish to eliminate the middleman, sometime around the first of February I come to realize that my ideas are probably going to remain unrealized. If I even remember at that point what those ideas were.
In February, it all looks pretty bleak and ridiculous and a little nuts. But until then, it’s all a blaze of colour and twinkling lights and good food and welcoming hospitality.
I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to revel in it and try not to make everyone around me crazy.
And even though I have a couple of musicals in my tape recorder, I won’t make you listen to them.