Post-Christmas Blues and NYRs
The presents are opened, the company has come and gone, and the cookies have been baked and consumed. Now what?
I have a Christmas hangover that has nothing to do with egg nog. The buildup for this crazy holiday always leaves me feeling empty after it’s over. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a weird empty space and I just wander around wondering what to do with myself.
I’m sort of filled with shame at the gluttonous amounts of food I consumed and the crazy number of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. And despite the fact that every year I say I’m going to eat less and buy less next year, I always do the same thing and always feel this heavy, empty feeling when it’s done.
The beginning of a calendar year doesn’t feel like a start-over for me. In fact, my birthday feels more like a new beginning than the drop of the big ball. But like everyone (or most people) I start thinking about what I want to change, improve or get rid of in the coming year.
In an apparent effort to rid myself of this heaviness, I start thinking about a New Year’s resolution. And quite frankly I’m not sure I even subscribe to the idea of NYRs. I think having a NYR just sets me up for failure. Life is going to happen whether I resolve to make it better or not. I’ll have failures, I’ll have successes. I’ll be determined and I’ll procrastinate. I can even resolve to do nothing, and yet everything will happen.
As per tradition, I’ll vow to become a smaller version of myself. Admittedly, my divorce netted me an equitable distribution of assets and debts, and a very inequitable distribution of fat. I want to become less of a person. Literally. But then I think, “Oh, for the love of God, Shannon. Just be happy with yourself.” And thus the conundrum begins.
How do you draw the line between striving for more, for better, for change and yet still pause long enough to be thankful for what you have? Isn’t the idea of pursuing MORE the very essence of discontent? If I were happy where I am, would I feel so compelled to change?
In years past, I’ve resolved to gain weight; sure the reverse psychology would work. And as luck would have it, it’s the only resolution I’ve ever managed to keep.
So I wander around the house a bit more and cast dirty looks at the Christmas tree that only a week ago looked festive and now looks like a lot of work.
The New Year isn’t enough to drive me to make a year-long commitment. I’m more apt to make a change at the start of a new birth year, because it feels more poignant to “write more blog posts when I’m 39” than “finish that book in 2014.” (Both are goals, desires, wishes, dreams I have for my better future self.)
I think the only reason I contemplate a NYR is to make me forget this fucked-up emptiness I feel from Christmas. Christmas is supposed to be happy! What’s wrong with me? The fact that I feel anything other than yuletide bliss makes me feel like a jerk. Like the ugly love child of the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge.
And because I know I’ll very likely not keep my NYR, I try to make it something easy, or something that won’t cast more guilt and shame my way, as if I need any more of that crap. It’s like giving up beer for Lent. I hate (HATE!) beer, so how hard can that be?
So, I’ve decided this year I resolve the following:
I will wake up every day.
I will go with the flow and try to keep my humor about me.
I will grow a pair of writing balls, FFS, and get over my fear of Writing Suckage. I will wield those writing balls fearlessly and shamelessly and JustWriteOhMyGodShanYou’reKillingMe!
I will live. Every day, I’ll live like it’s NOT my last day, ’cause that shit gets expensive.
And it’ll be great.