Tuesday, January 8, 2013
My Journey to Me-Dom
The holidays are over and it is that time… time for cold weather, time for dull days without holiday cheer, time for that long stretch before bright spring colors can be moved to the front of the closet. It is time for the winter blues. This time of year I always get a little SAD. By sad I mean Seasonal Affective Disorder. It actually sets in at the end of summer when the weather starts to turn and eventually the days get so short that if you work a day job you might not get to see daylight for a few weeks, but the holidays keep me distracted until this very time when I often just can’t ignore it anymore. I’m not the only one.
The holidays can be a difficult time for many. The death tolls always rise during this time. Suicides go up as people realize they can’t provide the gifts to their children that they know will be on their letters to the North Pole or as their loneliness rears its ugly head. Grief during this time of year also tends to take a few lives as older widows and widowers come upon their first Christmas without their life mate. After the holidays are over you have those folks that pass from heart attacks while shoveling their driveway and the accidental slips and falls on the ice and let’s not forget the dreaded flu that gets the best of some of our at risk population. Then there is the realization that winter is just getting started and there are long months ahead of us filled with cold dreary days even though the days are getting longer again.
The holidays are my saving grace. I’m a warm weather girl at heart, but I can ignore the cold while I have the holiday spirit carrying me along. You see, I love Christmas. I love it more than any other day of the year. I love it more than any other celebrations in life. I plan for it all year long and start getting REALLY excited for it usually around July when it becomes closer rather than farther away. The problem is that as an adult there just isn’t enough time in a day to really get my fill of the season. As a kid I can remember what seemed like weeks on end of holiday decorations and you would have sworn that practicing for the Christmas performance in school must have started in September because by the time Christmas Day arrived you were so ready for it and immersed in the holiday spirit that you would have sworn it was never going to get here. As an adult time goes by so fast that it seems like it is all over before it even really gets started. I look forward to this one day each year so much that sometimes it seems like it never even happened at all it goes by so quickly. I am the poster child for the joy of giving and even though some years you can feel the crotchety procrastinators’ annoyance and the crime rates go up I still feel like most people are nicer during this time of year than during any other time of the year. I always wish I could feel the Christmas Spirit all throughout the year. And then on December 26th it all comes to a screeching halt. The Christmas radio station that has been playing since before Thanksgiving goes back to its normal easy listening playlist. They don’t even consider weaning us off the holiday music in a polite and reasonable fashion. At midnight it’s just done. The claymation and animation holiday specials disappear and overnight television programming turns into bad made for TV movies and reruns of shows that nobody even watched the first time. It isn’t even reruns of the good shows that are all on winter hiatus! People yank down their holiday decorations that took them weeks to get up before lunch is even served, and stores suddenly are stocked with Valentine’s Day candy and St. Patrick’s Day beaded necklaces as if Christmas never even really happened at all. It is on December 26th that I suddenly feel like the wind has just been kicked out of me. I’d rather go cold turkey off of opiates.
This year though I feel more thankful than past years. The past few years have been riddled with holiday time deaths in my family. This year though was different and through my cold weather blues I still feel thankful and grateful that this year we made it. I feel blessed and seem to be acutely aware of the difference between this year and the last few years. Is it partly due to the grief I felt for those families that were facing Christmas this year with the shock and grief over the murder of their small children just a few short days before? Maybe, but the past few years I have known what it feels like once you reach that age when deaths and funerals start to become a regular event, so I think this year I can just feel the difference when you have made it through the peak risk period without any and I’m grateful. This year I’m blessed and I know it. So while you face the blues and blahs and cold know your blessings. Your blessings might look different than mine, but the fact remains that you too are blessed and if just for a moment right now in this breath revel in it.