Happiness, Holidays, Hassles!

It’s the beginning of December, and right along with Bing Crosby’s rendition of White Christmas, the hassles have begun.  Yesterday, I spent four full hours on the computer and telephone trying to make two simple airline reservations. 

First there were full flights and the necessity of booking my return with a layover of two hours, even though my husband’s earlier flight home was non-stop and $100 cheaper.  Oh well.  This surely makes sense to somebody somewhere.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Phone SOS.jpgThen there was the international flight that involved four segments, and after hours of trying to book it with travel insurance, discovering on the final screen that the helpful folks at American Express had denied my credit card because they thought buying two flights in one day was suspicious.  They had okayed the insurance, but not the tickets.  So even though I couldn’t go anywhere, I was now fully insured.  An additional hour and a half on hold ensued over the dinner hour, waiting to speak to the “right” Delta rep who could just put the card back through without charging $40 for the privilege.  I got the reservations at last, but it looks like I got the service charge, too.  I’m investigating.

This is only going to get worse. The holidays come with hassles.  Mobs at the mall.  Gifts backordered until Easter.  Cards from people we’ve forgotten or forgotten to put on our list.  Dwindling bank accounts. Even if we eschew all the trappings, other people’s trappings may well get in our way.

As I sat fuming on hold, and listened to jazz crackle maniacally over the line,  I came up with a game plan to get myself through December.  I’d love to know your game plan, too.  How will you deal with the inevitable long lines, the frustrations, the holiday hassles?  How will you help yourself stay happy?

If you read this blog regularly for the next year, you’ll find a lot of “happiness” talk.
Happiness Key, my next novel for Mira Books (July 2009) is now in New York waiting for editing, but the subject of happiness is still with me.  I’ll be exploring it here, and look forward to your help. I’ll even have a contest later next year to help you focus.

But for now, the official Emilie Richards game plan for happiness in December.

  1. Have something fun to do when I’m forced to wait. For me this means the sock I’m knitting for my daughter-in-law.  Or the apple core blocks I’m paper-piecing.  Or a novel thin enough to tuck into my purse.  Or a notepad for new ideas.
  2. Make lists and check them twice so I don’t have to try to keep everything in my head.
  3. Think small, very, very small!
  4. Frequently talk to the people I love.
  5. Take lots of long walks with Nemo.

Yesterday while I waited, in keeping with my game plan, I decided to make a list of possible first sentences for my next mystery, A Truth for a Truth.  Instead I wrote the first two paragraphs, and heck, this morning I even like them.  So thanks to the good people at Delta, my new book is well and truly begun.  In the long run, despite all those hassles, that sounds like happiness to me. 

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