I know I’m a little late in posting this—it is, after all, the middle of February. But I’ve been preoccupied with failing to stay awake after sundown and wake up by sunrise—which in January can mean up to 14 hours of sleep a night.This leaves precious few daylight hours to accomplish all that needs to be done.
For me, January is the flip side of the whirlwind of activity that begins right after Thanksgiving. I enter into a panic over how I’m going to manage all that needs to be done for Christmas. I race to the garage and haul in box after box of decorations and completely redo the house. I make lists of presents to be bought, cookies to be baked, and food to be purchased. I spend evening after evening in front of the television, carefully wrapping gift after gift, making each as close to a work of art as I am capable.
As Christmas Eve approaches my cookie baking accelerates. I swear I’m not going to eat them, yet eat them anyway, which makes me even more hyper.
Our children arrive, the house twinkles with lights to stave off the oppressive darkness. We share a wonderful week of festivities, staying up late and sleeping in.
Then it’s over. The kids leave so they can celebrate New Year’s Eve with people who know how to have real fun.
I throw white lights around the bay window where the tree used to be and pretend that it’s the same, but it’s not. Christmas is over. There are no more presents to wrap. The kids are gone. I can no longer button my pants—a clear indication to stop eating cookies. The decorations must be put away, the everyday stuff put back into place. It’s all so oppressive and I don’t want to do any of it. I only want to cry.
As I pack each box and gag down kale, my heart aches. I go into a depression that lasts two solid days. If you see me on the streets of Fort Bragg during this time, do yourself a favor and avoid me. (Ask Nicole—she once made the mistake of greeting me and had to endure rants about death and despair.)
During the first week in January, The Fort Bragg Advocate News Facebook page asked the question: “How will you contribute in 2014?”
There was only one response—something about contributions staying local, blah blah blah.
Yay. I’m impressed that this person had the fortitude to write anything at all.
This got me thinking that perhaps other people share my feelings about this deplorable month. I suggest that next year’s “Face Talk” question be: “How on earth will you ever survive January?”
The question about contributing in the New Year can be postponed until the Spring Solstice—after we’ve had a chance to absorb the increasing daylight returning to our lives. Maybe by then we’ll be able to conjure up one or even two lofty goals.
Now that sunset is being delayed by a few minutes each day and sunrise is coming earlier, I celebrate having once again survived January by sleeping a whole lot less. Towards the end of next month, I may gain enough energy to respond to a “Face Talk” question.