11.28.2008

Before and After

Ah, the day after a much anticipated and planned for event. I didn't always handle this kind of day well. When I was in junior high school, I helped my mom's friend (my knitting teacher) plan a surprise anniversary party for my parents. It was a black tie masquerade ball. I went shopping with a friend for a fancy dress, then hid it in her closet until the big event. I even sneaked my brother's dress clothes out of his closet and hid them in my guitar case to transport them to our destination before the big event. We planned and schemed for months, and the event was a huge success. Friends and family came from miles around to surprise my parents. It was a very happy anniversary.

But the day after the party, I hit rock bottom. I was completely depressed. All the build up and anticipation came to an abrupt halt, and I couldn't handle the inevitable letdown. I learned an important lesson about myself - I don't do up and down well. I need to keep things on an even keel and avoid climactic situations.

Obviously, hosting an annual family dinner has its ups and downs, but I'm getting better at keeping myself balanced somewhere in the middle of the tumult.

before

I keep things simple. I don't go overboard with decorations. I remind myself that it is a night like any other night when I cook dinner; I just cook for four times as many people. I also prepare myself for the day after. Rather than having a meltdown, I let myself glide down gently, settle into a comfy spot, and revel in the fact that my house is clean and my refrigerator is full of leftovers.

after

And of course, I have my knitting therapy. Nothing like bamboo yarn on birch needles to keep one grounded. Of course, spending most of the day in pajamas helps too.

Happy Buy Nothing Day! Now you know why I went shopping for provisions the day before last. If you missed out today, you can always celebrate UK style tomorrow.

20 comments:

  1. you look so relaxed i love that. and i bought a wooden hoop tonight at the goodwill, saw it and thought of you and your great scrap wreath, though i have no scraps i may need to improvise. but i have the hoop! lol knitting and a hoop, the new me.

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  2. I also get event meltdown. Glad you prepared. I forgot about "buy nothing" day but was happy to get some crafting and knitting in to settle down after the big event. I haven't forgotten about our swap, BTW!

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  3. beautiful photo here, Mol. I get that "letdown" notion. Good idea the knitting. I'll have to give that one a try. Be well ...

    Molly

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  4. Wishing you lots of peace...and productivity in the days to come!

    I love your table.

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  5. Even in the midst of dinner last night, I felt like I was teetering on the edge of the unknown, trying to remember, "After Thanksgiving, what comes next?"

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  6. Knitting is my therapy too...there is something very calming about feeling the needles and the yarn in my fingers...and the quiet repetition of the stitches

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  7. Crafting therapy helps me too! I agree the day after is a hard one. Making something with your hands is rewarding, calming, and COOL! Maybe your family needs a day after tradition? games, pizza, or jammie day all day??

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  8. Beautiful, thoughtful post, Molly!

    I'm trying to get myself into the mode where I can handle the buildup successfully--I already do the letdown really well. ;)

    I did lots of crafting with and without the kids yesterday (including some prep for knitting, which is very relaxing), and then spent most of the morning today in my jammies reading "Breaking Dawn." It was a great read!

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  9. Spending a whole day in my pajamas is one of the few ways I spell s-u-c-c-e-s-s!! Glad you were able!

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  10. Oh, I get that, too. Just recently I realized that I should plan for the letdown. The big one for me is xmas -- so much build up and then the 26th there's just a l o n g stretch with no planned big family dinners, no planned gift giving, just lots and lots of winter ahead. *sigh* Thank goodNESS for knitting!!

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  11. Oh how I detest 'Black Friday'. I'm all for BND and a less extreme holiday season all around.

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  12. we came home from thanksgiving travels a day early which really helped us all ease back into life. Our day sounds like it was much like yours--knitting, relaxing, playing games on the living room floor.

    Your last picture is so peaceful. (actually, they are both very peaceful.)

    glad to hear your event was a success.
    xo.

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  13. Extended family just left after a 6 day stay under my roof. After all the good-byes I collapsed on the bed and dissolved into tears. Thank you for your post. It was perfect. Tomorrow is another day. :)

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  14. I remember reading something ages about the anti climax after a wedding and can well imagine it's something similar - that's why we moved overseas a week after we married - to avoid the anti climax for a few years!

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  15. I am the same way. The time after a big deal thing is always depressing to me. Usually this happens after a rock concert, but sometimes after other events like this, or a party with friends. Good for you for figuring out ways to ease into that post event time.

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  16. how come your house is clean? how is your house clean???? today was meltdown day. because...it's still not clean. how come your house is clean? is it helpers? a regular routine of cleanup after a meal? some tricks? i haven't figured out how to fit the special event in, even after so many special events. please share!

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  17. Good advice, I do the same thing and usually end up in tears from over doing things. Simple and calm this year...

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  18. me too, with the letdown thing. i think it's b/c i'm not geographically close to my (extended) family. i always want to pick up and move closer after a good visit with them all.
    your relaxing day after sounds wonderfully peaceful.

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  19. What a wise, wise woman to know when to be gentle with oneself! Thanks for letting us peak at your mental sanity!
    Thanks too for that link - I'm all for that!

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  20. I totally know what you mean. After cooking for 26 people (it was small this year!), I always hit a wall.

    But THIS year, one of our friends planned a day of bowling and chili dinner at her house on Friday. It was BRILLIANT!

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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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