In the last 24 hours, my life has broken out in Christmas. Yesterday Afternoon, the guy from the Court Reporting place we use sometimes came by with bottles of wine and I would say at least fifty bucks in fancy chocolates. (Item: They are the court reporters we use second most often and this morning the other paralegal and I really are asking ourselves what the court reporters we use most have done for us recently. Bribery really works when the people who make the business decisions are twentysomething paralegals, especially when everybody charges about the same so the clients don't care.) I drew my Secret Santa person for the office.
Last night was my last property class. (And I am so sincere when I write *sniffle.* I LOVED that class. I know nobody loves property, I did.) I ran around property class handing out invitations to my New Years Eve party and slipped one under the professor's door.
This morning, the other paralegal and I were trying to figure out who has whom for secret santa. She kept listing possible parings off on her fingers. Without missing a beat, I grabbed a pen and drew a diagram that would have made Stanley Kaplan's heart skip a beat. Our girl still knows a classic LSAT problem when she sees one.
I was looking at my calendar and I am taking only one official work day off for my VACATION. (Boxing day.) If I'm not an idiot, I will take Tuesday off to put final touches on my outline for my property final. Christmas Eve and Christmas day I have off anyway.
Again, presuming I'm not an idiot, I will take the day of the Con law final off and probably New Year's eve given the party that night. (Want to be invited to my party? Shoot me an email. I have invitations to mail for a lot of you anyway sitting in my bedroom unstamped, but I also have an email version of the invite.)
So assuming non-idiocy, I'm only working 15 days in December.
That is 75 billable hours assuming I work at an optimum level, achieving five hours even the day of the firm's holday party. (Item: I haven't worked at an optimum level thus far. And I'm writing a blog post now. And it's almost time for lunch...)
New Year's Eve is a Monday, so if I do my party preparations over the weekend I might work then. This weekend is property final weekend, and I also have three parties and invitations to two more that I'm not attending. Next weekend is Con Law Preparation weekend. One review session before then. Gotta buy at least a secret santa present before then. Will do lots of shopping online.
Two days after the con law final is my office luncheon. Two days after that I leave for Vegas and four days of deadly sins with my husband. (Pride=Staying in classier hotel than some, Lust=It's Vegas, Gluttony=8 dollar steaks, Wrath=We always fight at some point on vacation, Envy=Window shopping, Greed=Non-Window shopping. Sloth=Especially if I get that upgrade to a room with a hot tub.)
I will hate myself in May, when I am scrambling to make my hours for the half-year mark. But I will be out of school by late May and can work late again or a weekend. I forget that in real, non-student, life working all day Saturday is the exception, not the rule.
I really feel more relaxed and happy than I've been in a long time. Last Friday, Jana-who-creates took me out and we ate tapas and I had three delicious drinks and a sort of peace descended over me that has been with me all week.
I usually hate Christmas. It has depressed me ever since I grew up sufficiently that recieving presents wasn't the point of the holiday. Holidays with my family are impossible, so I have spent the last six Christmases with my in-laws. The ministers who read this column will sympathize with how I feel about Christmas with my in-laws because they know what it is to enjoy a party, yet on some level still feel they are working. It's not my in-laws fault any more than it's the fault of the well-meaning congregant who invites the minister to a cocktail party. It's the nature of the minister/daughter-in-law job.
This Christmas feels like the first one I've ever had that was totally on my own terms. In some ways, the crazy schedule I keep the rest of the year has given me permission to be selfish and demand alone time with my husband, a party with my friends, and lots of cheer.
I'm starting to realize why other people like this holiday so much.
Who can't wait to work on her property outline.