The week after Christmas has always made me feel blue. I used to think it was a natural let-down after the hype preceding Christmas day--similar to the way one feels the morning after their wedding, bleary and faintly tinged with regret that all the excitement is over in a flash and somehow you missed parts of it because it was all too much at once. Lately I've realized that it's all the "end of the year" lists that make me feel melancholy. Whether "Best of" or "Worst of," these lists result in me feeling:
a) a little sad because the entire last year is past, finished, over forever. No going back. No reliving it. This is silly because a year is merely an arbitrary measurement of time, why not feel this way at the end of every day? Week? Month? But our society chooses to focus on the passage of years, it's a contrived sense of nostalgia. I hate being manipulated, told to feel this passage of time just because Auld Lang Syne is playing on the airwaves. Everywhere I look-- newspapers, blogs, magazines, TV shows--I'm treated to a "look back" at the "Songs of 2010" or the "Film of 2010" or "Top News Stories of 2010." I don't care to look back, I'm a forward-thinking kind of gal, loath to revisit my past, far more interested in what's coming up next.
b) like I missed something. Lists have an inevitable effect on us Type A people--they're assignments, right? So when I see lists ("Best TV Shows of 2010") I feel responsible for at least hearing about them, if not actually having watched them. But you cannot keep up with all the contents of all these lists of media, trends, hits, stories. I hate feeling left out, and these end of the year lists make me feel like I'm falling short of some sort of standard. (But don't worry, reader. I'm efficient at blocking my media intake. I've learned to ignore the magazine covers, TV news shows and most radio programs in an act of self-preservation.)
c) sorrowful--what opportunities did I miss? That whole year is over now! What didn't I accomplish? Oh, a girl could get all knotted up thinking of these things, flipping backwards through the calendar of time.
It's not post-Christmas blues causing my angst, it's all the damn "End of the Year" talk. That's why I'm tuning out all the retrospective stuff. Today is Wednesday, it's a few days after Christmas. I'm only counting down days until I leave for Iowa for Christmas with my in-laws. I'm only counting down thank you notes my kids need to write. I'm only counting the minutes until we hit the sledding hill today. I'm leaving the tree be, I'm noshing on Christmas fudge and watching A Christmas Story tonight. For now I'm using this week to extend my Christmas, not get all weepy and weird about it being the end of anything.
Spill it, reader. Are you inclined to look back or are you like me, focused on what's coming next?
Remember, every comment this week is an entry to win December's FABULOUS: a trio of things hand made by ME! Raspberry jam, wool hand mitts, good-for-you granola. I'll pick a winner on Monday!