Time is at its most mercurial when Christmas draws nigh. It seems so vast, so immense in the build up to the most wondrous of days that often we are let down afterwards.
All the planning, the anticipation, the running around instils a sense of expectation that is more than likely unrealistically high.
And when it’s all over we can feel deflated.
Christmas more than any other time creates a fantastical view of life that we want, that we need, that we cling to. Let’s face it, life in all its ordinary grandeur can be fairly drab. Christmas is sparkly and bubbly. Buoyant with the promise of magic. Full of geese getting fat, chestnuts roasting on open fires and extra merry gentlemen.
Real life is washing your husband’s underwear and scrubbing the coffee stains off the carpet. Not exactly something you’d set to music.
Some of us find it a challenge to get through this time of year. There is a kind of mourning surrounding Christmas which belies the jolly colours with which it is painted.
Whether we care to admit it or not I think most of us feel a little maudlin at this time of year. I think it’s because we know we are saying goodbye to a year, our year, and the truth is that there is another year behind us instead of in front of us and no matter how horrible the year was we are reminded that we are not in charge.
Now we are lodged smack dab in the in-betweenness of Christmas and New Year.
It is a loose ends of sorts.
I don’t think all loose ends are bad things, however.
I enjoy this time, the slow-paced meandering that occurs before another year walks through the door shouting: I’m here, let’s get busy. We’ve got resolutions to fulfil.
(Technically, I don’t make resolutions, but don’t you think that there is always a covert group of resolutions lurking at the back of your mind waiting for you to act upon them? The resolutions that shall not be named…. hiding in the bushes.)
It’s a time of unwinding. Of wistfully staring out into the morning watching butterflies cavort on the lawn. Of sandwiches for dinner and pajamas all day. Of old movies and even older books. Of gallons of iced tea in proper fancy glass jugs because you’ve got time to get the jugs out of the back of the cupboard.
Of staying up late and watching the clouds turn blacker and blacker as the night gets deeper and deeper until the clouds disappear so that all that remains is stillness. And peace. And the likelihood of sleeping until ten.
Between the old year and the new I watch the water. As the birds do. As the water shifts the light down from the sky and ripples form, I wonder if I see the same things the birds do.
Together we sit and watch. Calmed, rested, taking stock of it all.
Gathering what we need to go on.
Good post, lots to think about….and I so agree, this is the week of in between. A time that is sad for me (as you know)the holidays are I mean. But at the same time, a good opportunity to consider the 365 days ahead. Make it or break it, we’ve been given yet another chance. I’m not much for resolutions but that being said, my only resolution for 2011 is to dwell on FINISHING projects not starting more or dabbling at too many, which is usually the case for me. I’ve been taking stock of the projects I’ve had on the burner for a long time now. There’s some very good things here. But can I get them all done in a year. NO. Can I get some of them completed if I focus on 2 or 3? YES. So that is my plan. And I feel really good about it. What about you Sel? What’s on the front burner, the back burner, no burner for 2011? I think you share some of the idea overload that I am working on. Too many ideas, limited time and sometimes little motivation. I think this just might work. As has been the case with my diet journey, focusing on just a few pounds to lose each month but keeping that in mind as necessary has really worked. I’ve now lost almost 20 lbs!!! 😉
Oh how long this comment has gotten….Happy Happy 2011! I wish you the best year ever. And good things for every one of those 365 days ahead.
Hugs, G 🙂
The resolutions that shall not be named-I have a whole bunch of those! And I think at this stage in my life I will keep them unnamed. It’s been my experience that the really important ones force themselves to the forefront anyway so I’m just going with the flow this coming year.
I wanted to thank you for all the wonderful stories and musings over the last few years. You are one of the few bloggers I read regularly and I look forward to your stories. I’m wishing you a new year of peace and happiness!
All the above except the weight loss. Your Jess and Nicholas story almost made me believe again, not that I ever abandoned Santa. Who would while the gifts keep coming!
I wish you a great year and look forwared to reading more and more Selma. XX
You have lost 20lbs? That is fantastic!!!! You were a hot mama before, you are an even hotter mama now. Sizzling!
I can completely relate to the ideas overload. I almost need my brain to have a PA so that things can get organised in there. But in 2011 I am determined to get everything done. Procrastination and I are no longer friends. Here’s to 2011.
Hi SAGACIOUS WOMAN:
Exactly. The really important ones do force their way through and I guess they inform our behaviour without us even knowing. I’m going to flow to a certain extent too.
It has been my pleasure to write those stories. They really have kept me going during the dark periods. I am really honoured you read regularly. It means a lot to me. So much. Thank you for your support. Much peace and comfort and just plain old good times in 2011 XXX
Jess and Nicholas made me believe a little bit too. It could happen, right? 😆
I hope you have a fantastic 2011. It has been a pleasure getting to know you this year!!
You are spot on as usual – there is always a bit of a let-down – I used to feel like that with the build up to exams – all that intense work and then it’s over and you feel like you have been left adrift on the open seas – but then you readjust and everything is fine (we hope).
‘Adrift on the open seas’ – spoken like a true poet. I love the way you put it. It’s true. I think the seas allow us to readjust. I know everything will be fine. For all of us. 😀
I love the slow pace of life at this time of year too, but here it is watching snowflakes and winter thrushes and drinking lots of hot tea and eating lots of cake!
I like your idea of the hidden resolutions too, very true
I have a MAJOR CASE of the Post Christmas Blues. After all the fun and excitement, I’ve been stuck: home, alone, and buried under 30 inches of snow!
I am not making any resolutions this year. Simply because I am fresh out of ideas!
Happy New Year, Selma!
I can’t tell you how much this speaks to me!
I love this time of year, these last few days, and you expressed the reason exactly. The frantic season has drawn to a close, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the mellowness of these few precious moments left of the year.
Thank you for a wonderful year of reading your stories, and here’s to the new year. I don’t make resolutions, but I did find a site where they take a word and apply it to the coming year. This year, the blogger chose “flourish” and I thought, Yes, I want to flourish in 2011, too!
Cheers to you and your stories, your family, and your readers. May 2011 be the year of flourishing.
Selma is spot-on, as usual. My wish for you:
Big notice,by publishers…they should be HONORED to have you writing short stories for them to publish!
Hugs,Peace, Blessings, to my fav creative writer online (and I read several hundred, at least!)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
As always you captured it perfectly with such eloquence.
I’m always in awe of your descriptive ability.
You nailed it, what this in between period is and the gearing up of a new year and new hope.
Thanks for a great year of writing Selma!
Hi CRAFTY GREEN:
That sounds fantastic. I hope the thrushes and other birds have been coping with all that snow. I do worry abut them in the cold weather. Snowflakes – just gorgeous. And cake. Everything is much more perfect with cake. 😀
You are kidding me – 30 inches of snow! WOW. It must be so hard to do anything. I hope it clears soon. And yeah, I know what you mean about the post Christmas blues. They can just hit all of a sudden. Hope you feel better soon XX
I am so glad. I often feel we are on the same wavelength. You should see me when I am reading your blog – nodding wildly all the way!!!
Flourish. What a beautiful word. So elegant, so reminiscent of another time. I almost expect to see Knights walking around with their gleaming swords while the townspeople gather in the square. I love the sentiment behind that word. Flourish. It’s my wish for all of us. Thank you for everything, Karen. I truly mean that.
What a kind and lovely thing to say. But then I wouldn’t expect someone with your level of generosity to say anything less. If the publishing gods smile on me this year I won’t say no but if not I’l be just like Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.’
I wish you much peace and happiness this year XX
Awww. You are so lovely. You nail it too. You are so insightful. It is a pleasure to know you!!