It's coming up to Christmas season. The shops are full of decorations, the ads are on the telly and the kids are behaving extra well just in case Santa's making a list and checking it twice.
I do love Christmas. I'm one of those people who gets ridiculously excited about the whole thing. I love seeing my family and consuming my weight in cheese. I'd happily have a glass of mulled wine with a mince pie any time of year.
But...for me the run up to Christmas is often filled with a growing sense of panic.
This time of year I suffer from the curse of busy-ness. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done and every task is done at full speed.
Like many authors I have extra events to do or attend. I also have a Christmas book out which needs promoting. I have my day job, and my kids...and the Australian Christmas cards that need writing and posting...and every other reason to dash around like a headless chicken.
Only - the other day, because I was so busy, I didn't notice a good friend of mine was ill. I'd let my rushing around get in the way of something really important.
As picture book writers we need space to dream, and time to do it. As I run madly from one job to the next, scribbling on the train to make up lost time, I'm starting not to enjoy my creative work. I've been curtailing my day-dreaming time, cramming it between tasks. That's not the way to write. Worse; I've been neglecting my friends.
So my well-before-new-year's resolution is to slooooow down.
I've found some lovely bird song to listen to (it's tropical to remind me of growing up in Hong Kong):
I'm focusing on enjoying the journey; gazing out of the window instead of editing a book.
I'm going for a walk by the sea as often as I can.
I'm meeting up with my good friend next week.
And I found this lovely video of a craftsman who knows how to take time to make his creations perfect:
Wishing you all strength and TIME to cope with the pre-Christmas season,
(My new book is The Fairytale Hairdresser and Father Christmas)