That’s how I always think of January once it’s really set back in. Many fewer random events, todos, parties, meet ups, chores, things to remember, shopping lists and trips. After I’ve put away the holiday decorations and had a good cleaning about and the kiddo is back to school, what is left is the quiet. Don’t mistake me – I didn’t say there weren’t plenty of demands on my time. There are always plenty of (delusional) people and groups wanting to insist on filingl “all that new free time” with whatever thing they think is important for you to take up. (I’m looking at you “wellness” communities and “work goals” people.) But the reality is that while I’m usually a bit busy throughout the non-holiday portions of the year, it’s not as if I expect to fill my schedule when it’s done the way I’m willing to during the actual holiday season.1 In fact, the older I get, the more I have a fairly hostile reaction to anyone or group attempting to coerce me into filling the time with things they think should be everyone’s priorities. Hard pass. No.
Especially now that “kiddo is back in school” now means gone months at a time instead of hours at a time, I find myself wanting to plant my feet and hold up a hand and firmly say (yell?) NO! I want this quiet time. I want time to wander the house, the yard, the town, the larger environs and just be with as few demands on my time as possible. I want to reflect. I want to just be. I can’t even honestly say that it’s a huge time of self-reflection–I tend to do that during the holiday period and usually have a decent spate of it around birthdays and random late summer moments. It’s just a time to be. And heaven help you if you want to try and make me “do”.
Why don’t we protect our times to just be–with more energy and entitlement that we do? When I was younger, I’d feel rather defensive about taking this time and it would lessen the enjoyment and refreshment that comes from it. I suppose getting older means fewer people expect me to have F&@*s to give about many things? So I can get away with more of a crotchety “meh, bother me with your request sometime late February”. 🙂
Present and peaceful. And being unapologetic about it. Ruthlessly ignoring demands, letting go of things that just clutter up my time and brainspace. That’s my renewal. January for me is shutting out all of the “shoulds” and demanders and just doing whatever it is that suits me – and it’s generally very little effort required on my part.
Yes, I have to work, pay the bills and what not. But even there, don’t come at me with your new year productivity goals and the 75,000 projects we didn’t have time to get to last year but we should start on now and make good headway. You’ll find I care the least about any of it this time of year. Just let me be for a bit. When I’m good and ready I’ll crank up to something “above average” – maybe. Or maybe one year (this year??), I won’t. Maybe I’ll take a page out of Average’s playbook and lean into it. Who knows. I don’t. And, it’s January, so you can’t make me figure it out.
1-Note for any of you who read my last post — yeah, I meant that. Never said a word about when I’d start. And I sure didn’t mean January.