I said "Merry Christmas" to someone for the first time tonight. Until tonight "Christmas" was one more project on a list of giant projects to do in December:
Study for IT Project Management Exam
Finish Editing IT Project Management Paper
Finalize 2009 IT Budget for Work
Cram for Accounting Exam
Remove Air Conditioning Unit From Window
This is the first year that I have bought almost everything online-although I don't generally enjoy shopping I enjoy buying Christmas gifts. I will visit craft bazaars and go to the Maul and visit bookshops to find trinkets and necessary objects for my loved ones. This year I haven't had the time to do so and that makes me sad. I had a horrible dream a few weeks ago in which I had showed up at my parents house with Nothing purchased for anyone for Christmas. In my dream my dad castigated me for spending all my time reading silly novels instead of getting things done.
It was a horrible dream and obviously it was all about my anxiety about not being able to do a proper job of Christmas shopping. But here's the thing-I haven't been spending all my time reading silly novels-I've spent all my time studying for Accounting and attending meetings for my IT Project Management class. While working full time.
Well, I thought, wasn't that the goal-to be an "engaged" (some would say slightly psychotic) MBA student? Apparently the opportunity cost for doing so includes Christmas Shopping. I am sad of that, but I can remember this and shop for presents for my loved ones some other time.
A year ago I had just gotten into the program. Now I am in the middle of it. It still scares me a bit (I have to take Statistics next term!) but even though it's going to suck for a while I don't think it's un-doable. Apparently flaky, literary, sci fi Cantabridgienne can handle Activity Based Costing and Work Breakdown Structures.
I am not happy about the fact that I have sub-standard gifts to give this year. But having finished one class I can look forward to actually baking cookies and listening to Christmas music and pulling my youngest nephew *away* from the Christmas tree. Of course I want to give good presents, but since I've started MBA school, I myself have put a premium on presence and getting to see my niece and nephews without worrying about a paper due or a problem set.
So, I'm sad that I had to shop online for Christmas gifts, but this is because of a temporary thing (MBA School). This temporary thing is good for Cantabridgienne in the long run and I think that my family understands that. Especially since even if I give less than stellar gifts I will be able to be there body and soul when we bake Christmas cookies, and watch the kiddos rip through all the presents, and eat Christmas dinner.