The three weeks since December 12, when I wrote my “Life Goes On” post literally flew by, am I right?
I was feeling rather bah-humbug-y going into the holidays, what with trying to coordinate holiday gatherings around a toddler’s nap and early bedtime and general ennui about gift-giving. Mid-month, I read “The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents.” The post really resonated with me, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it.
As Christmas drew near, I felt tremendous pressure to both give great gifts and even more so to come up my own list of what I wanted. This is difficult because the answer is either a) nothing or b) a really specific item that I’m researching and figuring out exactly what I want, at which point, if I decide that this is indeed an item I want to spend money on, I will buy it for myself.
Needless to say, we enjoyed some nice family gatherings, and I enjoyed seeing Gabriel’s general excitement, but I’m rather glad the festivities are behind us. I clearly would benefit from finding some way to address my feelings about gifts before next December.
Holidays aside, the past three weeks were far from dull in their own right, with action in the employment, speech therapy for Gabriel, and longtail realms.
Matthew and I both interviewed for the same position. What’s odd to me is not that this happened, but rather that it hasn’t happened before, given that we’re both in the same field, with very similar educational backgrounds and career interests and fairly similar work histories. Our general attitude for positions that we’ve both applied for in the past has been that, collectively, we double our chances if we both apply for a job opening, though I’m curious how employers view this. For example, would employers see both of our applications and just avoid them altogether, in the interest of preventing [in their minds] marital strife or perceived awkwardness? I certainly hope that would not be an issue, that our applications would be judged independently on our qualifications, but one never knows.
We’re still waiting to hear from the therapist, but, after a third evaluation, Sir finally qualified for speech and language therapy services with First Steps, a state-funded program for kids birth through three in Missouri with very affordable sliding-scale fees. Since he’s not all that far from three, we’ll also be starting the process to see if he will qualify to transition to the age three-and-up services, which are offered through the school district.
Longtail cargo bike
We’ve more or less decided on the Edgerunner. We’re still playing with specs and final details (gearing, accessories, etc.), but we’ve moved to the “contacting a local bike shop to get things moving” phase. We’ve done a lot of research, but making this large of a purchase without ever seeing, much less riding, the bicycle in question is more than a little nerve wracking. Finalizing the purchase, really making it happen, will be a bit of a leap of faith, but such is life, I suppose.
Melissa, I completely understand what you mean about Christmas – especially buying and lists. What I decided to do this year was to make a Pinterest Board with a link to just what I wanted. Some things I’ve researched and know, but don’t necessarily need yesterday. For example, I’ve wanted an enameled iron French Oven from Le Creuset and a regular, old, cast-iron pan for years, but I haven’t purchased them for myself. My mother bought me the LC Oven and my husband the cast-iron pan. I’m thrilled, but I didn’t necessarily suffer for not having them between November, when my family asked for lists, and Christmas, when I could begin to use and enjoy them.
I think you’re doing the right thing to both apply for jobs. I wonder if most employers would make the connection? Your shared surname is pretty common, which probably makes it tougher for them to know for sure. My husband and I are both attorneys, but do wildly different types of practices, so I am quite certain we’d never apply for the same job. Ever.
Using Pinterest is an interesting idea. The two items you received should be very useful and last for a long time!
Totally on board with the Christmas presents or lack thereof thing. At this point I only give 4 – CatMan, my Dad, Stepmom and brother. I try to give things that are either a small token gift, an experience, food, or something that they’d be buying anyway. So this year my brother got a wall calendar, my parents got a year of Netflix and CatMan got cash (I made him swear to spend it on something special and not just toss it into the pot). Everybody was happy – especially CatMan because now he can spend hours and hours researching whatever geeky piece of apparatus he wants and end up with exactly what he wants/needs.
Totally wild about applying for the same job. Too bad you’re not in a field where you could set up an independent family-run consulting firm or something. But I think the “public” in public health would probably rule that one out! 🙂
Ha, CatMan sounds like me — Matthew’s always telling me I can’t just put gift money into our savings account! We took similar approaches with the gifting. Gabriel makes a very cute calendar-boy, so we gave wall calendars all around. We did have a list of specific toys for Gabriel (which was filled and then some), and, among other things, we received some very generous cash gifts which are earmarked for our longtail bike 🙂
This post really resonated with me. I could not agree more about Christmas and gift giving and the article that you reference. Perhaps if enough of us discuss how Christmas could be different and we start to make changes to make it different, we can start to make a difference.
Glad I’m not the only one — maybe change here IS possible!