There's never NOT a time when I could be doing something useful. Work paper work, work planning, work related reading, student papers to grade, phone calls to make, files to complete for neuro clients, email to answer, piles of paper to sort, laundry, house work, yard work, shopping, cooking, pool cleaning, babies and development to talk about, people to check up on, people to call, people to write, people to encourage, people to just love - not to mention pets, kids, husband.
I have a lot of 'duty' in my life. I mostly love it.
But around holidays I indulge myself. I do puzzles. 500-750 pieces are my favorite. On my big square coffee table with a mug of tea handy. I move a strong lamp in from another room. Preferably there's a fire and a book on CD happening in the same room. Chequers paces around and around the table and watches me, eventually he lays on my feet. I like it when some family member will wander in and talk to me, but I really don't want any help with my puzzle.
I like primitive Americana - flat and colorful: nothing repetitive, no Monet-y soft edges, no fuzzy kittens or puppies. Stern barns and wagons, quilts on the wash lines of big white farmhouses, ponds with small boats, happy children in overalls, apple trees.
This latest one, finished just a bit ago, has taken me 6 hours. Emily and I have listened to "The Return of the King" all the while. I've successfully avoided the incongruity of Americana and Orcs occupying my head at the same time. It's been absolutely lovely.
Before and after holidays I keep a stack of hopeful puzzles on the window seat. I smile at them on all the many dutiful days.