We’re back from our holiday travels, and feeling about the same as we always do in this first full week of January. Dead tired.
I know many people find the holidays relaxing and the start of the new year rejuvenating, and I might just be a teeny bit jealous of those people. True, there are occasional naps that happen over that time period, as well as long stretches of lounging around in pajamas past a respectable hour. But those road hours will catch up with you – we put almost 3200 miles on our car (and our bodies) in five weeks. Just the sorting and the packing and the hauling and the stuffing of the car – down three stories and out to the street, then back again, repeat, then repeat again. Our little Volvo with its little trunk and seats gets stuffed to the brim (each stuffing takes an hour or two), and we wedge ourselves in with little wiggle room to spare. The middle days are fun and full, but the road is long and boring and we’re bleary eyed and road food bloated and bickering by the end.
Monday returns, and everyone else in the world seems refreshed, sweet greens juiced, and glowing from the extra workouts. They have organized closets and their holiday decorations are tucked away in rubbermaid bins, glitter and pine needles vacuumed off the rugs. There is a half completed jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table and their resolutions are posted – with visual aides! – and they include “spend more time with the family”, which means around the jigsaw puzzle and not shoehorned into a rest area toilet stall with an obstinate five-year-old continually setting off the auto-flush sensor because she can’t just sit still and finish the job. We always arrive home in the last hours of the last day, to a cold house and an empty refrigerator and an overflowing mailbox with soggy bills. We try to locate four toothbrushes and four clean pillowcases and collapse into bed before the machine starts again the next morning, like it or not.
Last night (a Monday night), I geared myself up to go back out into the frigid temps and pick up groceries for the week. My list was relatively uncomplicated, but even stops at three grocery stores didn’t cover it. The produce shelves were bare, even the basics were gone. Apparently everyone else restocked their pantries over the weekend, and vowed to eat more greens. At ten minutes until ten, on a Monday night, in the produce section of Whole Foods (my third and last resort for the elusive and exotic cilantro and yellow onion, sarcasm intended), exhaustion set in. It felt like everyone else in the entire world had their act together except for me. My closets are a wreck, the swags of greenery on the house have turned brown, the tree is drying out and half the lights don’t work. There is glitter EVERYWHERE you look, and the surface of my dining room table hasn’t come up for air since JUNE. If you opened up a jigsaw puzzle at my front door, and then moved through the house trailing pieces behind you along the way, you wouldn’t even notice them. I’m intentionally ignoring all the resolution lists everyone is talking about at the moment because I just can’t visualize any of them right now. I can’t imagine getting more sleep because I can hardly see my bed. I’d be more present and relaxed with my family, if I could locate them among the piles.
I don’t have a real solution for this situation short of the obvious (and rather miserable) option of staying put for the holidays. I like the holidays. I like our family. Those are pretty significant things in and of themselves. This really isn’t about those things. I just always enter January feeling like the worst version of myself. Worn down, stiff, and snippy, and sort of like I’m missing the party. Getting a good weekend in should help, but it’s Tuesday still, and there isn’t a longer week on the calendar than the first full week of January.
I have no resolutions this year. Last year I set goals, and as M pointed out on one of our car rides – “You kind of knocked last year’s goals out of the park.” Every once in awhile it’s good to set some hard and fast goals and see them through. For 2015 I’m leaning more towards good intentions. I’ve got several of those knocking around in my head. I’ll write them here, as a note to myself, when they get a little clearer. And my house is a little cleaner.