I’ve been riding an emotional wave this month, sinking deeply into the troughs and rising skyward with the crests. The trough came on election day, the same day I received a rejection letter from an editor who had acted very interested in receiving my manuscript when I spoke with her last summer. The gloom continued for days after. Then last week, I was swept up to the crest as I completed a huge volunteer project.
I’m ready to sacrifice the waves for smooth seas, to tackle small projects — the antithesis of the recent one involving coordinating a retirement party with 425+ guests — and move more slowly. I’m now dreaming about spinning a cocoon around me during the December days ahead, and finding my way onto a different path, one more tranquil and less hectic.
Is this possible with the parties, shopping expeditions, and holiday celebrations that are part of every December? The weather, the addition of a few more minutes of darkness each day, and on-line shopping will support my dream.
Heavy rains and high winds — hallmarks of this time of year — make staying home more appealing.
A few days ago, malls started to fill with not-yet-harried shoppers. Enthusiasm for thrusting myself into the buzzing crowd to achieve the goal of making everyone on my list happy, is already waning. I can keep warm and dry at home and shop with the help of the internet.
Finally, the receding hours of daylight inspire inertia.
Yes. It would be theoretically possible to stop and smell the gingerbread. What could possibly keep me from realizing my dream of pulling a throw over my lap, sitting down with a few good books, and chilling now and then?”
I know the answer: I am the one who gets in my way. I’m the one who fills my calendar with a hundred and one activities, and who chooses doing an errand over sitting still.
Here’s my December experiment: I’m going to cut back a little on my social life, go cross country skiing, read a pile of books, meditate, and do yoga. Not all at once and not every day, just enough to see what happens, find out if I change in any way. Calendar control will be the biggest challenge. I also want to know if what I fantasize about is not the road to smooth sailing but the road to boredom.
There are no serious consequences if I fail. I can think of my experiment as getting my usual unfilled New Year’s resolutions out of the way in the old year, thus saving myself time in 2017.