Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Cards

By now I have a small stack of Christmas cards sitting on the kitchen table.  But I am never sure what to do with them.  These cards arrive in all manner of size and shape, and some also contain annual retrospectives about the families who sent them.

I particularly enjoy the Christmas cards that are, essentially, family photographs.  And sometimes my mother sends clippings from various catalogues along with a request for me to send back my "wish list".

Naturally, since my mother doesn't read this blog, she doesn't understand that my wish list is very short, almost non-existent.  I mean, I've got the wife and kids, a library stuffed full of books--hundreds of titles, in fact, that I have yet to read--and enough work to keep me very busy.  

After Christmas, I will also sit down and take stock of my entire literary output for the year--which is going to be a difficult enterprise this time--as I have difficulty keeping track of my published work if the numbers slip past a dozen.  But I slipped past a dozen many months back and have been writing feverishly all year--and thus I have forgotten most of what I have written, or who published it, or when, or even if/how much I was paid.  I have a folder that contains all of these minuscule check stubs and writing records--and some time before April 15 I will sit down and calculate the grand total.

Still, looking at all of these Christmas cards, I feel like a piker.  I always wonder:  what more could I have accomplished?  Did I do my best?  What could I have written instead of watching that rerun of The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix?

I always try to keep the Christmas cards around until the end of January.  That way, they remind me of work I need to do . . . and the grace to live with myself when I don't get it done.      

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