The end of the year tends to stop me in my tracks, bringing a kind of thoughtfulness I seldom practice. A “new year” sometimes seems arbitrary to me; there is only a symbolic difference between December 31st and January 1. But that symbol can be a powerful tool when used reflectively.
This Christmas was different than most. It’s the only one Mark and I have spent alone, in our own home, ever. Due to a last-minute work visa snafu, I couldn’t return home to Canada to visit my family. I was deeply saddened, as Christmas and family are synonymous for me, as for many. I knew right away that the only option was to make the best of it.
Without the high energy of family and travel, I had a lot more time to sit quietly by my own small Christmas tree, listening to George Winston (sadly, without my mom for company). Now in the window between Christmas and New Years, I feel the transition to another year coming on strong. It’s a time to pause, and be grateful for this mid-winter holiday—when the world stops for just a few moments, to let us stockpile our blessings like a squirrel does food, for colder, harsher times.
Though this holiday season was lacking in snow and cross-country skiing and quiet mornings with my mom and her table brimming with food, and so many other nostalgic but powerful things that have come to define Christmas, there are a few things that were good. Really good. Even wonderful.
sources of joy this Christmas
-making nuts and bolts as gifts for coworkers and friends
-not having to put my training on hold, and enjoying flexibility with scheduled workouts (trainer workout at 2 pm in the sunshine, yeah!)
-our small tree
-a visit from Brittany and Adrian
-the Clifford and Butsko families
-firsts: sushi on Christmas Eve, sunscreen on Boxing Day
-riding with Courtney on Christmas Eve day
-church on Christmas Eve (wow, it’s been a long time!)
-running in shorts and a tank top on Christmas morning before the world woke up
-homemade bacon for Christmas day brunch with two of my favorite people
-FaceTiming with my family on Christmas Day
-Boxing Day ride with Mark along the coast
-getting a package of Stollen, Vínarterta, and other goodies in the mail from my mom