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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 • Posted December 10, 2008

Those who know me understand that scheduling is an obsession for me. I have calendars on my computers at work and home, calendars on the wall, calendars in the car and calendars on my watch.

I'm not really that obsessed with time, and couldn't actually be called a clock watcher; however, I do value punctuality. When one's schedule is based almost entirely upon the plans and events of a community of people, as mine is here at the News, that requires a certain amount of attention to dates, times and places.

That's not to say that I don't get it wrong at times. Last Thursday, I headed over to the courthouse to attend the retirement reception for Beatrice Langehennig. Anna was amused when she found me standing in the empty Commissioners' Courtroom, especially when she reminded me that I had two articles in the paper during the preceding two weeks, and both clearly stated that the library was the site for the reception. I made the reception, a little late, but in time to wish an old friend well in her new life.

I have to remember when meetings are held, even if I don't belong to the club holding the gathering. I need to familiarize myself with the lead times for big events like the stock show, even though the event itself occupies only two days on my many calendars. And, I need to be cognizant of situations where more than one calendar entry is occupying the same small square of time. If I remember the physics that Dr. Fritz Landers taught me in high school, one object being in two places at one time is impossible!

And then there's the holiday season. From Thanksgiving all the way through New Year's Day, it seems that, according to my calendar, Dr. Landers may have been wrong about the possibility of occupying multiple spaces at one time. And I'm not alone. It seems that everyone I've talked to is trying to figure out how to squeeze all of the pre-Christmas, Christmas, post-Christmas/pre-New Years, New Years and post-New Years events, parties and gatherings in.

When there are multiple events scheduled at the same time, we all start playing the slice of pie game. You know the one: Cutting up the available time into small slices, then figuring out which piece we should have first, and which one we will only have if our appetite holds out for the entire evening.

Case in point - Last Saturday, I had three events to attend. One of them was out of town. That also happened to be the first one I had committed to, and thus, the other events, both in Mason County, became impossibilities.

I don't really know how we all survive all of the hoopla and celebrating at this time of the year. The dressing up, dressing down, eating dressing,,, it all seems to go by in a whirl of color. Yet, every year, we all do it again. We know that we can't attend everything. We know we can't eat everything on the buffet. We know that we can't buy gifts for everyone we know. But, for some reason, there are many of us who will try to do it all.

My suggestion for this holiday - pick your times. Pick your people. Pick your food. Pick your abilities. By narrowing your focus, you will, necessarily leave some things out of the holiday celebration. But, those things that receive your focus will be attended to much better, they will be more fun, they will be more satisfying.

And by narrowing your focus, you will be able to expand your gaze and see more of the season and all it has to offer. By resisting the temptation to try and do it all, you will be able to see all that is really there in front of you.

This holiday, enjoy the entire season by not trying to do the entire season!

It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.

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