Christmas Break

It’s the night before New Year’s Eve. I’ve just spent the last hour and a half (okay two hours–I’m slow) making General Tso’s Tofu. (Yum!) Sam and I are having a tv-watching marathon with whatever series DVDs we could find at the library. We just finished the first two seasons of Drop Dead Diva, randomly enough. I’m pretty charmed by it, actually. You go, Jane!

I am taking a mental vacation. I am so happy to be a teacher right now, because I really need this break. I can’t really believe it’s still December, because I was triple-timing it at the beginning of the month, training for and starting a new job while getting through finals at the community college where I teach. I pushed myself with all I had, and was not NOT enjoying myself despite going crazy, until I got sick with some throat and chest thing that actually forced me to cancel everything I had on my calendar and stay in bed for three days. Then I got better enough to go Christmas shopping really fast and then fly to California for the actual holiday with his side of the family. It was a very fun trip. But it was not relaxing.

Incidentally, I may have written last year about my idea that Christmas, if it’s going to be focused on for three to four months, should really only occur every, say, three years. It’s kind of like a presidential election, or like the Olympics, when you think about it, in terms of prep time and attention demanded. Though I don’t think people could hold out for FOUR years between Christmases; or maybe three just feels like the right amount of recovery time. Well, this year I have amended that plan to allow for one long Christmas season followed by two short ones, when we only focus on the holiday for a couple of weeks. Since last year was a LONG Christmas, in my mind I declared this year a SHORT one and tried to disengage from feelings of obligation or external pressure to maintain holiday spirit for multiple months. I don’t know if anyone else is buying this plan, though …

But anyway, that was a tangent. And even with my long-short-short plan, I do still agree with my friend Amy’s recent Facebook post reminding us that according to the Catholic Church, which pretty much started Christmas, officially ends the Christmas season on January 13, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Which is longer than most people think. It’s really the PRE Christmas excess that needs to be curtailed in my opinion — the pre-Advent part that’s all about guilt and purchases. The POST Christmas season can go on for even longer as far as I’m concerned. This is the time when we can enjoy the beauty of, say, the lights we put up without thinking about how behind we are, or what we still need to buy. We can take it a little easier, rest and breathe and integrate and receive all the loving energy we generated with our Holiday Hoopla (as some lovely Denver gals call the festivities they hostess).

So, now I am taking a time out before jumping back in to syllabus writing and event planning (both things I do enjoy!) and job training and studying math so I can get a good enough score on the ACT (I have to retake this for the new job, which involves test prep tutoring, even though I have, yes, both gotten into and completed college a long time ago–although without much math, damn!) with hopefully some time in there for guitar practice. I know when my body is intervening to tell me I’m doing too much and I need to slow down. I don’t want the only time I rest to be when I’m sick. I’m lucky to have the space to be able to make that choice right now, and it will have to tide me over through a lot of upcoming insanity!

And when I take a mental vacation I notice certain nice things like … my creativity coming back. And I start getting ideas for things I would like to write, or organize, or learn … And I feel a little bit of resignation, knowing I’m very soon to go back to ultra busy life and that most of these ideas will never be followed up on. But a few of them will. And again I’ll resolve to keep some time for myself, to rest and integrate and work on projects … and I will probably do a bad job of it … but maybe I will get a little better every time until I stop needing to get sick or wreck my car (twice) or have some other crisis in order to give myself permission to take a break. Well, maybe someone will call me on that.

So, ta ta for now. It’s back to relaxing. Which leads to blog posting! Coincidence?

I think not. 🙂

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