The Hurrier I Go the Behinder I Get – by Coco Ihle

I’ve always thought I was organized and efficient, even anal, as some people say. Since my book was published last April, my skills in being organized, efficient and anal have obviously fallen by the wayside. With all the blogging, reading other blogs and leaving comments, reading articles recommended, going to conferences and conventions, and generally promoting said book, the days and months have whizzed by and now my house is a wreck, I’ve lost weight because I haven’t stopped long enough to eat proper meals, my guest room is piled with “book stuff” and I’m frustrated about not having enough time for myself. Is it just me?

Get this. The other day, a neighbor, Ron, from across the street came over and knocked on my door. He’s a former cop and sometimes asks to use my fax machine, so when I saw him standing there I expected him to make his usual request. Instead, he lowered his head a bit and looked up at me through bushy eyebrows in what I could only describe as a serious or even grave expression. I was instantly alarmed. My overactive imagination conjured up my forty-something year old son in a terrible gory accident or my grandson with a surf or skateboard wrapped around his head. Maybe my sister was hurt or my brother-in-law had another heart issue. Could Nellie, my ninety-six year old next-door neighbor have fallen again? Was she still alive?

The whole second that sped by before Ron opened his mouth was filled with agonizing thoughts of doom and gloom. I had already broken out in a cold sweat, my knees were rubbery, my hands visibly trembled and my heart rate was competing with Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.

Ron stepped closer and said, “I’m the Christmas Police. It’s time to take down your Christmas tree.”

I was so surprised and relieved, I almost melted right there on the vestibule concrete, but then I saw the smirk on Ron’s face. I was torn between explaining why I haven’t yet had time enough to take the tree down and fighting the impulse to smack him in the nose.

The only thing I could think of was, “What can I say. I love Christmas.”

“Just saying.”  With that, he turned and went back across the street.

I closed the front door and muttered to myself, “As soon as I finish my taxes I’ll take down the tree and clean and straighten the house and prepare a good healthy meal and sit down and relax and…”


Filed under blogging, books, Coco Ihle, Humor, internet, life, marketing, musings, writing

28 responses to “The Hurrier I Go the Behinder I Get – by Coco Ihle

  1. I’m laughing and empathizing at the same time. My computer faces a wall, so I don’t have to see the rest of the room or any part of the house. Of course, I still have to see the piles and piles of to-do lists (might as well call them what they really are — to-don’t-do lists), but if I keep my eyes focused on the screen, I don’t see those either. Or not much.

    If you don’t take down your tree, in another three months, you can say you’ve decorated for Christmas in July, and in another three months, well . . . you’ve decorated early.

    • Pat, I like your way of thinking! Actually, I tried leaving the tree up one year, but the excitement the next year of putting it up and decorating it didn’t exist. Rats! So, I have been taking it down after the holidays. It’s just that some years it comes down later than others. In fact, when I lived in Germany, my third floor living room had a huge picture window that opened like a door. I remember once in April, I opened the window and sent the skeleton of my tree speeding to the ground like an arrow! It stuck! Talk about funny!

      • The last time I had a live tree, I didn’t take it down until March. When I finally decided to get rid of it, it was so dry, it left a trail of needles all the way down the hall of the apartment building and out to the dumpster. There was no way to hide who the culprit was — the trail led right to my door.

  2. OMG, Pat! I’ve done that, too!!!! Ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!!

  3. Oh, Coco, you really DO need to slow down. 🙂 Remove the tree, clean up after it, then make a cup of tea or hot chocolate, or whatever you prefer, and sit down with a good book for a couple of hours. The break will do wonders for you.

    • Gosh, Sandra, you sound so calm. I love your idea and plan to implement it today. The only things is the tree task will take a couple of days. I have this belief that one can never put too much on a Christmas tree. Sooo, there are LOTS of ornaments to pack up! Better get started. Thanks, you got me going!

  4. Nancy Niles

    I love this! My two neighbors across from me leave their christmas lights up on the eave of their houses all year long. It’s very pretty and I so enjoy looking at them. I have a Garfield stocking I keep hanging all year long in the house. Why not?

  5. Linda Bennett

    Call Ron over to help you pack up the Christmas stuff, make some tea–
    get a tough job done and commune with your neighbor at the same time….

    • Great idea, Linda, but I’m not real sure how his wife would feel about that. Of course, I could invite her, too, and maybe get the job done twice as fast. Hmmmmm…..

  6. Frances Bush

    Hi Coco,
    Like you, I have always enjoyed Christmas and putting up and taking down but since I no longet have my son it is a sad time for me and my husband doesn’t care if I put a tree up or not. But I feel more like I am celebrating the birthday of Christ if I decorate. I always put my tree and all up on Thanksgiving week-end and all the colored lights and candles are so beautiful and gives such a warmth and comforting feeling and I feel that my son is watching from Heaven and this would make him happy. The day after Christmas I put everything else off and take down my tree and pach up all the ornamets
    be sad if I didn’t do this. Then I plan to put everything else aside the next day after Christmas

    • Frances, I remember how beautiful, cozy and welcoming your house was years ago when I used to come there to dance for your parties. And I remember how you used to bill me as the only Christian belly dancer in Alabama! I know how much you love Jesus and your son and how meaningful Christmas is to you. Bless you!

      • Coco, your secrets are starting to come out!! A belly dancer? How fun! (Oh, wait. I knew that.)

      • Frances Bush

        Thanks Coco, You are so sweet to say such kind things to me, The kind of person you are makes me believe every word of it. Yes, I know that you are a strong Christian too. You have always been such a dear friend to me and you and God are two that has kept me going on the last few years the most.

  7. Sherrie Hansen

    I could really relate to this! It’s a wonderful kind of busy though, isn’t it?

    • Yes, Sherrie. I feel guilty sometimes for complaining. I’m so fortunate to have a roof over my head, plenty of food (when I remember to eat), transportation, great friends and family, wonderful books to read, and time to write. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  8. Oh my, I loved and laughed at loud at this, Coco! Nice to find a cop with a SOH (Sense of Humor) too. Just leave it up. Christmas 2012 will be here before you know it 🙂


    Glad your son and grandson et al are OK!

    • Glad you enjoyed my post, Jenny. I guess I could leave the tree up, but I’ve gotten so energized by everyone’s support, even more by e-mail, I think I’ll put on some music and start dismantling. Thanks so much for stoppping by.

  9. Looking on the bright side, congratulations on the lost weight! You could always spray the tree with pastel colors and call it an Easter tree.

  10. Merry Christmas, Coco! Yes, as one of your writer friends, I do identify with you. Our Christmas tree is down but our Christmas cards are all still nicely stacked in a large bronze plate (It looks like an offering plate) on the hearth.

    • And mine, dear Sara, are in a basket in the family room. I enjoy looking at them and re-reading friend’s accounting of the last year. I have a feeling you do, too. Nothing better than friends!!! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Well, actually, Sheila, I was trying to gain weight. Sorry I’m one of those skinny people. Easter tree, hmmm. I could put eggs, bunnies, tufts of fake grass, little crosses, foil wrapped chocolates. Oooh, chocolate! Yummmm.

  12. dellanioakes

    It isn’t just you, Coco! I’m so behind. I thought it was just me. I’ve got a stack of books on my dining room table, as well as a plethora of files on my Nook of books I need to read for reviews. I’ve got a paid editing job I should be doing instead of being online. I’ve got my own editing to do that’s driving me crazy, so it’s sitting on my flashdrive gathering virtual dust.

    My house is dusty too, by the way. My floors need sweeping, my bathrooms need scrubbing. My Christmas tree is down, but only because my husband did it. I get meals fixed for the family, go to doctor’s appointments & TRY to keep from completely losing control. Never mind, there it went. I’ve lost it.

    My grandmother had a plaque on her wall that said, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get.” I wonder who got it after she passed.

    • Gosh, Dellani, you sound way busier than I do. Bless your heart! Don’t do what I did, though. I sacrificed my health and lost too much weight. I’ve had to take a deep breath and do what’s possible and not worry. Somehow things get done eventually.

      Yes, I had a neighbor who had the same sentiment on a plaque in her kitchen. I thought it was great and certainly pertained to me! Maybe someone in your family has the one you remember from your grandmother.

      • dellanioakes

        I’ll have to ask my cousins about the plaque. It’s possibly my aunt has it. My mom didn’t remember it, so who knows?

  13. Dellani, if your cousins or your aunt have it, I hope they give it to you.

  14. You put our shared dilemna into a clever situation.

    I’m a bit of a clean freak, and can’t say no when I’m asked to care for my grandchildren, but I have a scary number of piles of projects for my volunteer and business life, and all the things in my writing life I need to do, and can’t seem to. HELP!

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