It is with great joy that I start up a new personal calendar, turning the page, as it were.
I enjoy the annual exercise of recording important dates in the upcoming year, mostly birthdays, anniversaries, special events in the life of our friends and family.
Interesting side note: There was no reproductive sex in the month of April in our very large extended family…no birthdays at all in January. Not sure what that is all about ??
The real reason for my love of January….. we survived another holiday season.
Sometime just before Thanksgiving, I turn into a person I barely recognize. I obsess over the celebrations in so many unnecessary ways.
For Thanksgiving, it’s all about the food. I approach it the same OCD way if I am cooking for 30 people, or for 2. I pride myself, maybe even define myself, by my cooking. Growing up, providing good food was equivalent to love in my family, since love did not manifest in many other ways. So, it matters. It has to be close to perfect, at least in my eyes.
We were married in mid- November; so it is important to me to celebrate in a meaningful way. To me, this means travel; but not to my husband of 40 years, who would prefer a quiet celebration. Sometimes, conflict ensues.
Having an early December birthday has always presented a problem for me. In rough economic times during childhood, I was overlooked. There was a promise of “we will get you a little extra something at Christmas”. It never happened. So I began to resent the holiday early on.
The best of times was when I got to see Christmas through the eyes of my own children. That was glorious; a sort of rebirth of joy for me.
They grew up. And no matter how I try, there is no recreating that special time. I get it, but I still try. In the process, I turn into a shrew. (Insert “B” word here).
I obsess again…over decorating, card writing, gift buying, cookie baking, meal planning, entertaining, house cleaning, etc. This results in exhaustion, which sucks all the joy out of the occasion.
There have been so many years that I threaten to spend Christmas in a tropical paradise, maybe even alone. It hasn’t happened yet….maybe next year !
In the meantime, I welcome you, January.
And I look forward to returning to the “me” that I know is still in there, somewhere.