The older I get, the more this becomes my favorite part of the holidays -- the part when they're over. I don't mean that in quite the nihilistic way it sounds. I just mean ... no more stressing over when I'll have time to decorate, because the decorations are up. No more stressing over what to bake, because the cookies have been eaten. No more stressing over which presents to buy for whom and when to wrap them, because the presents have been received and opened and put into use. No more stressing about travel, because that's over. No more stressing about anything related to the holidays because they've come and gone, for better or worse.
So much didn't get done at our house during this holiday season -- so many unbaked cookies, unsent cards, unbought presents, undecorated corners of the house -- and I felt bad about that until yesterday afternoon, when I realized it was too late to do anything about any of it anyway. And that everything had really turned out okay. And that we were all happy. Even me.
Since then, even though we have a very busy week ahead, I've felt my shoulders lowering themselves from my earlobes, where they've been clenched for most of the month of December (and bits of November)(and October too, for that matter). This week will bring appointments and errands and chores, but it's all mundane stuff. Daily rhythm stuff. Background stuff that we could do with our eyes closed, really.
The part of my brain that's been cluttered up with worry and stress is being given over to other things now. Things like:
- Being so grateful for all the rain we've had this month. Pretty much our entire December has been filled with gentle, soaking rains. It feels like a bit of a miracle after the last several long, brutally hot, bone-dry months we've had. I've learned to love walking the dog in the drizzly mist, seeing all the wet-black tree trunks against the late autumn gold and crimson leaves.
- Thinking back over all the new-to-me things I discovered in 2011. Like negronis (I've tried to like them, but I don't really), American Horror Story (surprisingly good and so creepy/fun), and Florence + The Machine (LOVE!). I read some books I loved, some I wanted to love but didn't, and I started and abandoned a few I didn't care for at all. More about that in another blog entry, I think.
- Looking forward to the year to come. Somehow our home-improvement project of switching my downstairs office with our upstairs guest bedroom has morphed into giving H the guest bedroom furniture, moving my office upstairs, and turning my former downstairs office into an exercise/game room. I guess it's good we don't get overnight guests very often, eh? So we still need to finish that up, and do something about our horrible manky floors, and I've decided to take up running again but I haven't yet figured out how to work it back into my day/week. All in good time, I suppose.
Bring it on, Winter. Let's do this, January. Come on, 2012. I'm ready for you.