As we age, my brother and I, and have no children to replace us as "the kids", we spend Christmas in a floaty sort of limbo. The Day itself, the 25th, becomes less important (for me, Christmas has always been about the 24th anyway; the anticipation being so much more fun and mysterious and exciting than the payoff of Christmas Day.), but if I'm lucky and not working, Christmas Day becomes Christmas Week, which lasts until the 1st of January.
So it was this year. My brother, his wife and I flew to my Dad's on the 25th (replacing getting up early for presents with getting up early for the airport), and lay around on my father's truly excellent couches eating rich food, drinking too much, and watching hockey. There were no hyper-excited children underfoot, and not much in the way of presents, since we'd spent the money on plane tickets instead. And what is Christmas without kids, really? Well, just a time to eat, drink, be with family. A time for talking with far-flung family members over the speakerphone or on Skype. A time to be there for my dad, who lost his wife last Boxing Day.
He's doing great, though. Looking ahead, not pining for what he lost. And, symbolic though a "new year" is, I too am looking ahead to see what comes next.
I'm working on my attitude, that's the first thing. I'm staying positive, even though I have this cold which won't #%$%& leave. I partied a little too hard last week, ran 8km with my super-fit brother right after Christmas, played a high-energy New Year's Eve party and stayed up until 3:30 that morning. All of which was very, very fun. All of which was very, very bad for this cold, which has lodged itself in my chest and nose and is hanging on like grim death.
So the challenge has been: how do I spin this into something good? And the answer- well, maybe I can be thankful for having this weekend free, so I can rest and take care of myself before work and meetings begin. Maybe I can be thankful that being stuck inside gives me time to do some brainstorming and journaling instead of running around trying to do too much in the cold and damp.
And I am thankful. Because although staring the new year feeling awful was not what I would have wished, it has reduced life to the essentials. Stay warm and dry. Conserve energy. Plan, but don't do. Spend one day doing nothing but watching tv and eating expensive takeout you can't even taste because your nostrils are plugged up.
Rest, and wait, and see what happens next.