1. Agree to every volunteer request that comes your way. This is the first and most critical step. If you don't accomplish this step all subsequent steps will yield only minor annoyance, and you will not be able to successfully drive yourself crazy. Please note that in order to generate maximum stress it is advisable to volunteer for activities that are cyclical. Even though cyclical activities are supposed to stick to a prescribed schedule the likelihood that the schedule will change is enormous. This affords plenty of opportunity for double-booking yourself, thus generating more stress.
2. Get the kids ready for the day without getting yourself ready first. This is a sure-fire guarantee that circumstances will demand that you converse with friends, delivery drivers, neighbors and teachers while you are still in your pajamas and with your hair in disarray. You earn bonus points for this step because you generate stress and embarrassment simultaneously.
3. Host your family for a major holiday. This ensures that you will have unequivocally lost track of your everyday life by the time everyone departs. This is particularly useful as it allows you to do things like: 1) Discover that you are out of juice, sandwich fixings, and fresh fruit for the kids' lunches 15 minutes before they need to be out the door, or 2) Forget what day of the week it is, drive to school, drop off kids, return home, sit down at computer, do a double-take when you notice the date and realize you are supposed to be at the school teaching small group writing.
4. Start baking Christmas cookies while you have Thanksgiving wreaths still hanging in the window. And turkeys on the window sills. This will inspire you to get crackin' on the cookies so that you can get rid of the last vestiges of Thanksgiving and dig out a festive platter for the cookies. And then you'll be motivated to multi-task so that you can get through your epic list of things to do, so you'll chat on the phone with your neighbor as you prepare the cookies. While talking on the phone try to remove a tray of 48 cookies that have been cooling in the freezer in preparation for their dip in white chocolate. Lose control of the phone that is pressed tightly between your shoulder and your ear and drop the entire tray of cookies all over the garage floor. Note to self: Next time drop the phone and save the cookies. Dessert always trumps electronics.
5. Refuse to actively resolve your self-inflicted chaos and instead, sit down and blog about it.
Don't they look yummy?! Actually, it really isn't a great shot of the cookies (fudgy, chocolate cookie dipped in white chocolate), but I love the juxtaposition of the Christmas cookies and the Thanksgiving decorations -- so just pretend the cookies look fabulous. 'Cuz they certainly taste good.