Just ONE More Post. My Relaxation List.

I know I said I wasn’t posting again until the New Year, but I have one final piece of business to address.

Karen Bertelsen in classic Eames chair.

please enjoy this photo of me pretending to relax

 I was about to pack up my laptop and iPhone and iPad and old iPad and emergency old iPhone that I mainly use for streaming music, and super extra old iPhone that only has a battery life of 7 minutes – when I realized I hadn’t given you a list of what I intend to do on my time off between Christmas and the New Year.  I can’t pack that stuff up for my official week off until I’ve given you my annual list of how I’m going to relax.

This is a burning question in your mind I’m sure, right up there with how many ice cubes you currently have in your freezer.

As someone who spends their whole life doing stuff, and loving doing stuff, I sometimes have to remind and/or force myself to relax.  To sit back and rest my brain and body;  allowing drool to cascade down my chin as I gaze at the television from the comfort of my workshop.

I mean couch.

How I Plan to Relax

  1. Handcuff my ankles and wrists to the front, left leg of my couch, forcing myself into a locked, permanent fetal position. Inform neighbours and family to ignore any pleading or screaming they might hear from December 26th to January 1st.
  2. Realize plan #1 might be incomplete and come up with a “safe word” in case of emergencies.  Alert neighbours and family to my “safe word” – tinkle.

How I’ll Actually Relax

  1. Handcuff my ankles and wrists to the bathroom vanity. ‘Cause that’s just more sensible.
  2. Knit.
  3. Wean myself off of elastic waist band pants.
  4. Dig sparkles out of my scalp.
  5. Make a hand puppet out of my back fat.
  6. Do my nails. (organize by type and size)
  7. Learn how to use my new camera.
  8. Learn how to use my new dehydrator.
  9. Learn how to speak Chinese with a Russian accent.
  10. Clean up all the Christmas crap.
  11. Reorganize the basement to better accommodate the Christmas crap which may involve a jackhammer and drywall.
  12. Read a book.  This book. (I’ve actually started it, I just need to finish it)
  13. Come up with 156 post ideas for next year.
  14. Contemplate whether it *really* matters if I finally throw out the frozen blob of something in my freezer I’ve been trying to identify.
  15. Refuse any and all New Year’s Eve invitations in favour of walking around the neighbourhood after dark so I can get a *really* good look inside other people’s houses.
  16. Sit.  I’m really going to sit.  Honestly I am.  In a chair and everything.
  17. Order compression socks in preparation for my busy week of sitting.
  18. Maybe make a lasagna.
  19. Clean up, reorganize, declutter, get a new television for, streamline, cozy up, make perfect, make imperfect my office.
  20. Unplug.  My coffee maker and give it a thorough cleaning.

O.K., that really is it for me until the New Year.  I hope your time off is as relaxing as I’m planning mine to be.



  1. Heather says:

    Thanks for another fun year at The Art of Doing Stuff. I hope the holidays refresh you and you find peace and happiness in 2019. Merry Christmas!

  2. feral turtle says:

    Merry Christmas Karen. Hope you and your family have a great holiday! Cheers.

  3. Sewmakeone says:

    Could you figure out a pleasing way to store tree ornaments? I want rows of silver shelving with neatly stored seasonal decor. That’s my dream for my new house. (Closing Jan 11!)

  4. Linda says:

    My beloved Karen, ok, loved… your posts this year got me through the roughest year of my life and I have lived long enough to have wrinkles upon my wrinkles, wink, wink…there were a few times I only had the energy for a big ass smile and there were so many times that I laughed hard enough to give me the energy to just do one more week, bwahahahhha. For that I thank you, deeply.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, watch out for the people too excited by Christmas to be driving and come back to us happy and your usual zany self to gift those who desperately need a smile, chuckle and/or an outright belly laugh. For your new year may it contain great health, so many smiles that you need botox and the fullness of love of your family and friends. Do enjoy xo.

  5. Edward Cummings says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy new year, and enjoy your well earned vacation!!!!

  6. Ann C. says:

    I confess I never do projects, but you make me smile (smiles don’t come easily for me). Merry Christmas, Karen!

  7. Jennifer says:

    “Do my nails. (organize by type and size)”

    Took me a second… Hah!

  8. marli says:

    Good list.
    I will admit, #15 caught me off guard. Sounded just a touch…creepy.
    Enjoy relaxing!!

  9. Bev out west says:

    Had to click the book link… surprise! Need to read that one, was LOL throughout Notes from a Small Island, have Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors, not LOL but not boring either. Read and relax on.

  10. Yabut says:

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’m sure you will come back full of stories about things you discovered or did over your so called holiday. Personally, I think I’ll plan on sleeping right through the month of January.

  11. Karen W says:

    Have yourself a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’m sure you will come back with lots of stories of things you discovered or did over your so called holiday. Personally, I think I’ll plan on sleeping through January!

  12. Marcia says:

    Let us know what you think of the book. I’ve read a couple of his. One I really enjoyed, and the last “The Road to Little Dribbling” that seemed to be an endless narrative of him going on long hikes to little failing towns in England that used to be charming, but have gone seriously downhill due to a failing economy. It was a bit depressing. Merry Christmas!

  13. Judy says:

    Have you given up rug Hooking? I find that very relaxing

  14. Lesley says:

    Got to the second paragraph and yelled out, “OH MY GOD ICE CUBES!” and frightened the cat. I have people coming tomorrow for drinks and nibbles and I’d have forgotten for sure. You’re a life saver! NOW I can relax :)

    • marli says:

      And at reading your comment I laughed (ok, snorted) loudly, scared MY cat, and woke my husband who is snoring on the couch. You totally win tonight, thank you for that giggle!

  15. Grammy says:

    I’m a sitter. No problem. Maybe because I’m always reading something, maybe because I’m lazy. Probably both. But, I do find it exceedingly relaxing to get to just spend a week or so “getting things done” that aren’t big major projects, just stuff that got moved to the bottom of every list all year because something else had to be done. Cleaning, reorganizing, figuring out how to do something, etc. are among those things. So, your list looks good to me.

    Just remember to stay hydrated — it’s easy to forget to drink enough when you’re engrossed in enjoyable activities that you’re doing because you want to.

    Then, after the New Year begins, you will have plenty of cool stuff to tell us about. Win, win.

    Merry Christmas!

  16. Summer O says:

    I absolutely love walking (or driving really slow) through neighborhoods to peek in other’s windows and see how they decorate the interior of their homes. My husband thinks it’s disturbing and calls me a peeping tom. Glad to know that I’m not alone in my enjoyment of this. Merry Christmas!

  17. Congratulations! You are the winner of “my favorite person I’ve never met” 2018 contest. No prize and I woukd have snail mailed you a sparkle sash and acorn crown but the squirrels absconded with all the acorns and two bushels of tulip bulbs. Cheeky bastards… seriously I cannot thank you enough for the laughs

  18. Alena says:

    Loving task #6:
    Do my nails. (organize by type and size)

    I am still laughing. I should follow suit though.

  19. Erin says:

    One of my favorite books! Bryson is an excellent writer, and makes the wild and varied topics he covers fascinating and hilarious. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Christmas/Break!

  20. Nan Lorenz says:

    Karen~ For all the good advice, fun and especially the smiles you have given all of us ~ Have the Merriest and Happiest! Salute, Prost, Skol, L’Chaim 🍷🍾🍻

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