No news to report on the dream of becoming an accomplished equestrian.
I’m having trouble scheduling a lesson with the new trainer that I called.Â Our schedules just don’t seem to mesh so I’m sort of looking around for someone else.Â The horses in my barn are getting turned out and brushed and my kids are riding – but I’m not.
Maybe no news on the horsey front is OK as the La Canada Rose Parade Float preparations are sucking up my entire life!
Today is December 1.Â We head south for La Canada in exactly 19 days.
And now, since December 1st has arrived (and is almost gone) its time to start preparing myself mentally and physically for Deco (Float Decoration) Week.Â Here’s why and how:
Deco Week takes mental and physical stamina.
“Official Deco Week” starts Dec. 26 although our first scheduled volunteers are on the 21st.Â Starting the 26th, I will be standing in our deco site starting at approximately 8:15 a.m. Usually, Mark the “Flower Pimp” is there waiting for us and will hand me a maple iced doughnut.
Let me tell you – its freezing cold at the deco site, a.k.a., “under the bridge”, at 8:15 in the morning.Â I don’t like the cold.Â Or mornings.
At about 8:30 volunteer decorators will start to show up.Â There will be anywhere from 20 – 75 or even 100 of them.Â For the next 14 hours, at a minimum, they will be my responsibilityÂ (and my dear husband!).Â We will decide what everyone is doing that day, teach deco application techniques, answer questions, and solve problems.
Problems will include things such as:
“The glue is not sticking!”
“What flowersÂ / seeds / beans / cranberry fiber am I supposed to be using?”
“No, hot pink roses are supposed to go there!Â Not light pink!!”
“The flowers / leaves / beans / seeds have to be right next to each other, like, touching!Â There can’t be gaps in between!”
“I don’t want to be up on scaffolding.”
“I want to work on the float!” (as opposed to working on some float part which is currently off of the float.)
“We think we’re going to run short on red roses!”
In between volunteer issues, there will be tours for special people, tours for groups of preschoolers, old friends and float people showing up, and media – newspapers in person and on the phone and TVÂ people suddenly standing in front of me with a TV camera and microphone pointed my way.
Then there’s artist issues – “What material are you using on that?!”Â There’s construction issues – “We need to cut a hole right here to get in to fix something.”Â And Bob, who I think of as “float Godfather” – “Are you sure you want to go that way with that?”
Everyone answers to me and I answer to everyone.
14 hours of all of that, in the cold, on my feet, is quite simply exhausting.Â Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that I go into it mentally and physically healthy.
Here’sÂ the plan:
1.Â Chill Out. Don’t get all stressed out about stuff – like today when I got absolutely nothing done this afternoon because my Mom showed up with long-time family friends whom I haven’t seen in years.
2. Get enough sleep.
3.Â Keep the kids in their normal routine as much as possible and keep their stress down.Â Kids thrive on routine.Â Their days are filled with events and special things during the holidays so I try to keep us on our regular schedule as much as possible.
4.Â Make meals easy. Example:Â Yesterday I cooked up a bunch of spaghetti sauce and meatballs for quick lunches and dinners.Â Keep healthy food around for snacks.
5.Â Exercise! I would really like to lose at least 5 pounds before we head south on Dec. 20 because my rule for Deco Week is that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
6.Â Remember yourself. What makes you feel better?Â A cup of tea?Â Â 15 minutes ofÂ reading?Â Whatever it is, make time to do it.
7.Â Make a reasonable plan and stick to it. If something happens to interrupt your plan, see #1.
8.Â Give yourself a break. Its OK if everything is not perfect or if you have a difficult day.Â Look towards tomorrow, spend a minute figuring out what might make it better (without beating yourself up about today) and then, let it go!
That’s my plan.Â Hopefully some of the above might help you through the holiday season as well.
‘Til next week!
(Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still workingÂ on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian)