Once winter vacation starts, December is usually a happy, restful, and rejuvenating month for me.
This year, unexpectedly, my time has been spent performing traditional tasks mostly due to obligation, not joyful intentions. Work was draining, right to the very end of the semester, and I worked through my first weekend at home cleaning, sorting, and decorating when I really would have preferred to have slept for hours on end. Though I've heard of blue Christmases happening to others, it's still difficult trying to hide my disappointment as I wonder just what has happened to the long term peace and contentment that the holiday break from teaching usually provides. I might need to practice mindful breathing, as my usual physical and emotional exhale hasn't naturally occurred yet.
There were lovely moments this month, to be sure. Unwrapping ornaments and decorating our tree is always a favorite job of mine, and I enjoyed reminiscing over Christmases past as I hung each decoration:
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many friends and family had returned to sending actual Christmas cards via post:
I baked and mailed cookies:
... and celebrated my 46th birthday crying and squealing with glee when I opened up my new iMac. The monitor is incredible, and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to all of the blog posts, Twitter chats, pinning, and creating that will occur at my fingertips in the upcoming year. The computer has already found its new home in my Crafty Nook:
Over the past few days I've binge-watched prior seasons of Game of Thrones and Fixer Upper, crocheted, and hidden downstairs in the crafty nook:
I've had ~much~ too much coffee and fruitcake, and have sat quietly looking out the window at the piddly amount (yes, PIDDLY) of snow that has fallen, causing me to conclude that I'll have to depend upon my silver tinsel tree for any real winter sparkle:
No one remembered to find the pickle ornament this year on our green tree, which has caused me actual sadness. "Remind the kids" is the simplest and most expedient solution (and one I used several years ago without blinking an eye) but this month my brain seems to want to wallow in grief, which is really starting to piss me off.
What is this?
Teacher burn out? Peri-menopause? Global warming? Too much time on social media, with all of the gaslighting, spin, and overuse of "OMG, you won't BELIEVE" or "wars" and "outrage" on and over anything and everything? Anxiety, anger, and intolerance do nothing but drain me. For someone already exhausted from work, I need beauty, breathing and rest to counteract this funk.
I have four days before I return to work. Time to giggle over the cat playing in the blanket that covers my lap:
... and joyful discoveries like The Fourth Grader having set the breakfast table:
... and time to tell him (and Godzilla) to find the pickle.