I don’t usually blog about my personal affairs too much; I think it’s a bit of “why would anyone care?”  But today I will make an exception.

I’m on the road, staying at my mother’s apartment in a seniors’ complex in Halifax, 1000 miles from my condo in the big city of Toronto, Canada.  It’s another timezone farther east, so I am SL/IW +4 hours, something that is completely messing with my mind.  I arrived early this year, on the 17th, and it’s a bit of a marathon, trying to get everything done, while sleeping in her living room (she’s an early riser too), shopping, dealing with family and chores, spending some quality time with my partner Gabi online, trying to make some progress on InWorldz permissions, and this thing called Christmas that kinda gets in the way Big Time, but is the whole reason I am here in the first place.

This year, the priority is squarely on family, and to a lesser degree, my RL friends.  It was great to see almost all of them crammed into a house for a party last Saturday, another reason for arriving here early.  Then my mother’s birthday on Sunday, then I managed to get all my shopping done, slowly, carefully, over 3 days of  mostly planning then the swift precision of a military covert op, left me with time to leisurely return back to HQ in spite of the backlog of heavy traffic fighting their way onto the packed rush hour streets from the mall exits.

It didn’t matter, all was well.  I was making good progress each day, and finished my shopping on Day Three, and finished my wrapping last night.  I’ve outdone myself this year, often completely unimaginative, handing out a plethora of gift cards, but this year real presents for all, except for my brother whose employer closed down on the 17th.  He gets the MasterCard gift card; he may need that this year more than any other gift.  Everyone is getting gag gifts at first.  My goal is to hit everyone with a “WTF?” moment when they unwrap mine.  For example, he is a bit macho, and has a new dog this autumn, so he gets the nice looking “Dog Fashion” book that I actually paid 70 cents for, complete with dogs in frilly dresses on the cover.  The gift card is inside.  /me giggles at the thought of him opening that one.

But it’s awkward being in Halifax when Toronto is my normal home base.  I feel more “home” here than anywhere in the world; this is where I was born and grew up.  But all my “stuff” is in Toronto.  My bed.  My computers.  My Internet radio station, The Rock Party has been acting up for the last day or so, with buffer underflows (music dropouts and “skips”) and although I have full remote access to all the machines there, and my router, I have been unable to resolve the problem.  It’s probably a provider issue, and that is just going to have to wait for my return.  It’s just too awkward to fix remotely.  And my partner, Gabi, is getting the short end of the stick with me on the road and busy too.  But she is so good about it; frankly I don’t deserve her.

So while I can’t wait to get home again, sleep in my own bed, fix The Rock Party, and get back to work more comfortably on InWorldz server issues, I hope this year to make the move back “home” to Halifax.  I left “for 2 years” and it has now been 26 years.  It would be great for Halifax to be both my natural home, and my practical one.

But until that day arrives, I will cherish the moments I get with my mom and my family here, making them the clear priority on everything.  Helping mom with so many things, cooking her meals all week, doing her shopping, groceries, and fixing things, because I finally realize what Christmas is all about.  And to not stress over it.  Just do what you can, and enjoy, and share that joy with your family and friends.

I hope you all can all find that peace and joy somehow this year, if not over these holidays, then throughout the year whenever you can.  Even when out and about, in the Christmas madness, try to just relax and be a friendly and patient driver.  Chat with others waiting in line at the stores.  Spend too much.  And enjoy a few treats too and don’t worry about it at all.  Everything is good for you in moderation.  That doesn’t mean you can never enjoy the nasty ones.  But most of all, I hope you can just relax and enjoy whatever chances you have to see your families and friends.  And if not this week, then I hope it comes as soon as possible in 2011. 

Peace and joy and happiness to everyone these holidays, and a very happy new year to all!