If I see one more piece of candy... I'm probably still going to eat it, and continue the month long chocolaty, sugary buzz I've had going, as well as fantasize about spending the entirety of January on a veggies-wholegrains-100% juice only detox plan.
If I have one more event to go to, I'm probably going to enjoy it as much as the others, and appreciate the wealth of people I've been blessed to spend the season with. I'm also going to appreciate the stillness, peace and warmth of a silent house a little more every night, til my day-to-day gets more boring and attains even the semblance of routine.
Christmas week has been truly glorious, one that I will look back on fondly. I've had more time off of work this week than the past seven seasons combined - bookings are down, no surprise given the second year of the recession, but it is more drastic than I expected. Yesterday the Children's Center was as busy as a normal spring day. Usually the fourteen days surrounding Christmas have the place filled to the brim with a delicately organized chaos and pandemonium. Yesterday was a breeze, the kids could even converse over lunch without shouting across the table just to hear one another. I even got the afternoon off after teaching a private lesson, and that's after having the entire week off already. A co-worker makes (delicious) fortune cookies, and yesterday mine read something like : Fear not, prosperity will come to you soon. Ironic.
I like my friend Tim's take on the whole thing. He pointed out yesterday that we might actually have to ski this year. Like take real runs, for fun, while waiting for lessons. We might like it. Our bills might increase or be harder to pay. But what if we actually spend this season doing more of what we love, what we're here for in the first place? In the long run, it probably won't matter that we made less money. It's still going to be a great season.
While visiting home for the week, I got peppered with questions about my relationship status, as per norm. There are distant relatives and friends who maintain a 'milestones only' conversational pattern - and I really haven't had much to report in terms of milestones. My last graduation was high school, and I haven't been capital Dating Anyone in over two years. I'm boring holiday catch-up material, for sure.
My paternal grandpa always has the best (most worthy of recap) way of asking/saying It. Last year, he gave me a sad-puppy faced look and said, over Thanksgiving dinner, "Are you EVER going to find someone and settle down??" This year -
G: So, you have a boyfriend down there [in Utah] yet?
JH: No, why would I need one of those?
G: To keep you warm.
JH: My furnace works well. In my car and my house. And I have a lot of blankets and winter jackets. I stay pretty warm.
G: Well, you're sure getting pretty, if I were your age.... (trails off and leaves room to refill glass of whiskey...)
I know Gramps means well, and I like to think everyone else does too. There's a sadness for him in my being single that I don't share, but I can see it's a way of him being worried about me, an extension of his love and concern.
People come from different frames of reference - Grandpa found his 'sweetheart' at sixteen, and they figured out how to make a life together, paved the way for a whole room full of people to exist in the world, and still love one another, flirtatiously even, sixty years later. From belonging to a family to creating one, they've never been alone.
My other side of the family is comprised largely of young families, people who married within a few years of high school, most of whom had at least one child by my age. Similarly to my grandparents, they've not spent time alone. They hope for me to share a bit of their brand of happiness, and are looking forward to giving me the 'pat on the back' for achieving it. Not a bad thing.
What's amusing to me is the assumption that this is something temporary, a holding out for something better kind of stage. I guess it is for some people. And I guess if I chose to look at it that way, I could adopt the perspective. It seems limited, though.
As a rower, I know in reality and metaphor the cost of momentum, the effort it takes in terms of muscle and dedication to steer a craft through rough waters and around obstacles, to have a destination in mind and exert the continued effort to get there.
I'm not beached, waiting for a pair of muscles to stroll up and take my oars and write my story for me.
I'm downriver from that, my efforts are direct and focused, I am moving along swift currents. Someone might sidle up with mutual intentions someday, but I'm not going to camp out for it, I'm not slowing, and I'm not aborting ship for someone else's dreams. I don't think my well-meaning relatives understand that. But I do love them deeply, appreciate their lives and concern for my welfare.
Time and energy are precious commodities. I have enough to invest in my writing, work, learning and studies, and the people who I've already recognized as permanent and beautiful fixtures in my eternal life. And then those commodities are pretty well distributed, and I'm satisfied with the return on the investment.
I'm taking the spring term off from school. As much as I want to push my graduation date back, I don't see much point in doing so at the expense of Everything Else. I'm happily employed - which I'm recognizing more and more is an absolute blessing. I've got a substantial chunk of my novel written, am in love with the characters and eager to pour more of myself into it's creation. And it looks like I'm going to have to spend more time than anticipated actually enjoying skiing... shucks ;)
I hope the spirit of Christmas and the warmth of the holiday season has filled your hearts and homes. I send love and good tidings your way, and extend the invitation again that y'all come visit the greatest snow on earth and ski some Utah powder this year.