The time is 6:31 AM on December 26th, 2017; the day after Christmas.
I always love the holiday season starting with Halloween back in October. It is difficult to believe that the main event, Christmas, is now already over and 2017 just about one for the history books. Today is one where you still feel the Christmas glow as the kids get to continue playing with their new toys, there is plenty of leftover Honeybaked Ham and work (at least for me) is extremely slow and I most likely (knock on wood) won’t have to do anything today. I never take off this time of year because why waste a vacation day when activity is pretty much dead?
New Year’s Eve is also just around the corner so for most people, the holidays are not over until everyone reports to work on January 2nd or 3rd.
As I’ve written these past few years I still don’t feel like I was in the full holiday spirit this year. When you’re a kid, it comes easily and naturally. I remember being so excited when the teacher would put up the holiday decorations and the holiday spirit saturated each and every day up until the event itself. We’d do holiday activities in class, learn about the meaning and if we were lucky even go on a field trip or two.
Now, the days are more or less monotonous. Yes, we do put up decorations, have a few get-togethers and so on but I guess at 40 the feeling just doesn’t come without a lot of effort and reflection. Yes, kids do help create the holiday mood since they are very excited but it isn’t the same as the feeling when you’re a kid yourself.
As for our Christmas it was a very good one. The only thing missing is family since we’re the only ones living in California. I just forgot, the other thing missing is cold weather and snow. So a perfect Christmas would be surrounded by lots of family with a fire in the fireplace and very cold weather with snow on the ground outside.
Regardless, we did have a nice Christmas and the kids were super excited. My oldest boy’s favorite gift was of course the Nintendo Switch. What a leap going from my old Sega/Genesis games played by emulator on the computer to flat screen, movie like graphics of the Switch? It really is memorizing and I’m a bit surprised my son is still sleeping right now. I know the moment there is even a flicker of consciousness he will be up and out here in a flash wanting to play the Nintendo. He must be really zonked out since he got up at 4:30 AM yesterday and had a very full day. I bet he is up before 7:30 AM though and expect he will call out to me sometime in the next 30 minutes.
But going back to family, I forgot to mention having friends around at this time of year is great too! I miss the days when I used to go back to Ohio and got to meet up with friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time. We would meet at some bar and talk about how much our lives had changed. This was life before kids and even before wife/girlfriend. Now, things are a different as we’re no longer in our 20s or even early 30s and for many, family life now takes precedence. I did text with one of my buddies who I used to meet up with and consider one of my best friends. I felt pretty bad because he is having a terrible Christmas: he went home, his sister got hit by a car and his girlfriend had to leave on a family emergency. I called him right after I received the news just to let him know how sorry I was to hear all of that but got the VM. He did text back and I hope to speak with him in the next day or two.
I guess you really have to count your blessings because life seems to be changing quite dramatically for many at this time in life (around 40). The end of the year is a prefect time to reassess, take stock of your own blessings, be calm and appreciate life, the passage of time, friends and family.
I think this holds especially true this year since WWIII seem to be on the horizon with all that is going on in the world. I have a hard time getting a feel for how dangerous the situations are and if it is mostly media hype, message sending from world leaders, or if we’re actually on the verge of major war? People often reference the Cold War but for the time I experienced it (Raegan / Gorbachev) things seemed pretty stable and nothing major would happen until the wall coming down caught everyone by surprise.
So what will 2018 hold? We have Trump for President so things certainly won’t be status quo. Will we have a major war and if so what is the likelihood of San Francisco getting nuked? These types of situations are no longer outside the realm of possibility with Trump as President, North Korea, and the movements in the Middle East and Russia invading a few countries. Under Obama there was a sense of security and that things would be ok; under Trump that feeling is pretty much gone.
The time is now 6:58 AM and I’m very surprised I’m still the only one up. I’ve already done all my morning chores so perhaps I’ll get another meditation session in before all the craziness starts with the kids.