Monday, December 11, 2006
Phoenix's Corollary to Murphy's Law
I want to share something with you all that is a perfectly apt little vignette that describes my life.

For the past three months I have been busting my butt to get ready for the holidays. I've been doing all of the same things everyone else does and then some. I've shopped, of course. And finished shopping last Thursday. I've decorated. I've festooned the halls and every surface. I've sent out cards, I've wrapped gifts, I've planned menus, sent out invitations, and played hostess. And I've baked. I've been baking for 2 and a half weeks. Last night, the biggest of these projects was concluded.

I finished the baking and assembled 22 holiday-themed tins for our friends, family, and other special recipients. Cookies, candy, they are practically brimming with calories and flavor. Now, I know that I don't have to do this. And, Christina managed to catch me in a snit and actually got me to admit that I don't enjoy it. And, I don't enjoy the way it takes me 2 and a half weeks of non-stop on my feet to get this done. But, I really do enjoy putting the tins together and sending them out. It is like Holiday Cheer in a box. Oftentimes the recipients are not expecting the offering, and so it is a pure moment of bliss for them to open the box. It is like Christmas Magic, wrapped up in a special delivery.

It makes me feel like a little elf, doing Santa's bidding (even if sometimes in the wee hours I feel like slave labor). I was up until 1 am baking on Friday night, then assembled the tins last night. Once the goodies had been equally distributed to all, I boxed them up and suddenly this feeling came over me.

It was not just relief, although there was some of that. It was a moment of pure accomplishment. I've never done 22 tins before, you see. Usually I only do 12, a much more manageable number. So there I was, basking in the glow of a job well done, looking over all that I had completed. Two-thirds of my Christmas cards are done and in the mail. The bills are paid. The dishes are done. The house is back to rights after the party over the weekend. I'm feeling at peace and satisfied.

I go to bed, pleased with myself, and looking forward to enjoying the next three weeks. This morning, I rise and get Bunny and I ready to depart the house for our Monday morning and what do you know? The battery on the Jeep is dead. Clickety clickety - no go.

Do you see what happened there? I was feeling pleased with myself, maybe even a bit proud, and the powers that be choose to take me down a peg. Maybe it wasn't the divine. Maybe it was merely Phoenix's corollary to Murphy's Law:

Murphy's Law: That which can go wrong, will go wrong.

Phoenix's Corollary: That which can go wrong, will go wrong, and at such as time as to maximize the inconvenience and aggravation level.

So, I'm busy feeling chastened and pondering my next project: The Birthday Cake.

But, just so you know, I always do this. I always plan ahead, I always work ahead or develop a schedule. I always make more work for myself by seeking perfection. I am always proud when the project concludes. And...I am frequently reminded not to think too much of myself.

So, I'm aware of the problem. They tell me that's the first step.


posted by Phoenix | 11:46 AM


At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

Oh, bless, honey!

I know that feeling of accomplishment. Remember it. Bask in it. It is well earned and deserved.

I don't know what it is called, but when negative things happen we rethink events in our minds and try to explain *why* things happen as they do. There is really no answer, they just do. I choose to believe there is no connection.

To be honest, on July 4th we had a number of friends over. Just before they arrived I looked around my house. It was clean, things were well arranged and decorated. For once I was not stressed at having company over. In those moments before the first guest darkened the door, I was pleased and quite proud of our home.

As you know, just a few hours later all of it was gone.

For days and weeks afterward these words plagued me: "Pride goeth before a fall."

I'm still trying to shake them, even though I know, just as said at the beginning of this comment, the two events are not at all related.

I will again feel that pleasure and pride. Just as you will as soon as the birthday cake is made.

Please post pictures of it.

I adore you, my friend.


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