Monday, December 21, 2009

Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Christmas equals ambivalence for me, as I am sure it does for others.

And yet, this morning, I woke with the song "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in my head. In fact, it won't leave. And I have to say I don't mind it, strangely, though I am feeling somber today and a bit tuckered out from too many (even if good) social interactions over the weekend.

There is something about how this time brings people together. Like overloading with food, especially rich food, I am overloaded with guests and invitations and visitations. I am grateful that I am on break, so that the energy normally reserved for classes is spread out into my broader social life.

And yet, I also have to say that I am tired. Very tired. Tired of rich conversations, productive boundary setting, even silly jibber jabber about this and that. I want to sink back into Jane Eyre, which I began reading last week (as Natalie assigned Wide Sargasso Sea, a prequel of sorts, and I thought it was time for me to read the classic, too). I want to get lost in my own writing, my own past relationships and made up townships, and I keep popping up, numerous times a day, into reality.

I trust, I hope, that others of you out there can understand this - that it is not a lack of appreciation, but appreciation of all the wonderful people in my life mixed in with a writer's natural inclinations - those which require lots of time alone, lots of time reading and writing. In fact, I'd say that both are writer's inclinations - the need and desire to really listen to people and be with them intimately, which contrasts - though doesn't always conflict, except maybe at this time of year - with the need to be alone and processing it all through writing.

What a conflict! I guess in a way I am grateful that this should be my conflict. Of all the things I could be worrying about, struggling with or fretting over, this is it. I don't mean it is little - it doesn't feel that way at all - but it is special and a privileged conflict, in a sense. That I have so many I love in my life and who love me. That I have plenty of rich conversations - and food - to feel overfull on. That the one thing here I am not experiencing, at the turn of the darkest time of the year, is lack of any sort. I am grieving, of course, always am from before Thanksgiving until after New Years, but even that feels like a strange celebration - I had people to lose, which means having to begin with.

That produces its own wonder in me.
Definitely a wonder-full time of the year, even if not always easy.


  1. Yes, a blog entry I can fully relate to. Being writer and social person... I did not receive lots of invites to go to parties, etc., except for maybe one, but I understand the need for social interaction - to build blocks for your character - and yet the need for reading and writing and celebrating yourself. We have the kids this week and something happened, family-related, which I need to process big-time...and I just don't have the time to do it. It's hard. But luckily, hubby said I could hide upstairs in the bedroom as long as I need to journal it out. What I mean to say, is I hear ya, sistah. I'm doing grieving this holiday season as well... I send you warm memories and gifts of friendships and solitude. Much love.

  2. I can totally relate! When I have a break, I often want to just sit around on my own. Sometimes I compromise (and this only happens with people who are on the exact same page, sentence, and word as me) and "have coffee while working" with one other person. I take my computer and a book and sit with a friend at a coffeeshop, and we exchange very little verbal communication, but the hanging out is nice. It's a good time. =) Much love, Miriam! xo

  3. Thanks, both. Totally true. : )