Winter break is over?
Last week, I told you guys that post-holiday depression was something I didn’t get this year. I was too busy enjoying my week of downtime to worry about the holidays being over.
It was true when I wrote it. But, as is often the case, whenever I say something hasn’t affected me, darn if Murphy’s Law doesn’t sneak up and smack me with it when I’m not looking. My mood has bottomed out this week, so please forgive me if this column reminds you of Winnie the Pooh’s clinically depressed donkey friend, Eeyore, moaning his way through the Hundred Acre Wood.
The fact that I emerged from the holidays more closely resembling Eeyore’s pudgy self isn’t helping matters one bit.
Because this week, it’s back to normal life. The relatives have all gone home and my husband is back at work. The kids and I have resumed our homeschooling, with all its ups and downs. The leftovers are gone, so it’s time to start that diet again and figure out where to fit in the exercise I ignored the past two months.
Whee — a diet! Exercise — how delightfully sweaty. I can hardly wait to embrace thee.
The calendar blatantly shouts that it’s January, but I just don’t feel like it should be yet. I don’t particularly enjoy the way time speeds up with each passing year, and I’m just old and crabby enough to grumble about it.
I feel like my brain’s an obese pole vaulter, standing there trying to figure out how to heave itself over the bar into the New Year and it simply doesn’t want to attempt the leap.
Because winter break wasn’t long enough — it can’t have been, because I’m still tired.
I want to throw an old-fashioned tantrum, demanding another week of chilling out with my Barnes and Noble Nookbooks and a cup of peppermint mocha. But I know that is not going to happen.
Maybe I’ll feel better when the Christmas tree is finally put away? I had a harebrained idea to leave it up an extra week to celebrate one final Christmas event, a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal on Jan. 6. I know that probably sounds strange, but that’s how we homeschooling moms roll. We’re constantly on the lookout for opportunities to create living lessons.
I chose this event because it honors the memory of my grandparents and introduces the kids to part of their heritage. My grandfather’s parents were Austrian-Ukrainian immigrants and Jan. 7 is when the Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas. We’ve never marked the occasion with a meal before, but in my crazy, Martha-Stewart-ish pre-holiday state of mind, cooking yet another huge family meal sounded like a fun idea.
Tradition states that 12 dishes are to be served, to represent Jesus’ 12 apostles. A kolach, or braided bread crown, serves as the centerpiece of the meal and represents eternal life. Other dishes include beet soup, or borscht, varenyky — potato filled dumplings — a fish course, cabbage rolls and sauerkraut.
Ahh, can’t you just see my sons’ faces beaming with pure delight when I tell them they’re having sauerkraut, cabbage and beets, all in one dinner? Maybe the traditional jelly doughnuts for dessert will make up for it.
We’ll see how it goes before deciding whether to give this event a permanent place in our holiday lineup. Maybe it’ll be fun extending Christmas, or maybe I’ll find I’d much rather just put it all away on New Year’s day and call it done.
My wish for the New Year is simple: that my money, time and energy would extend enough to cover the demands of my to-do list. At the moment, it feels like that’s not as simple as it sounds.
But as I tell my kids, moping and whining isn’t going to get me anywhere, and heaven knows they’re looking to me, as always, to set the tone for our family.
So as moms everywhere have done for ages, it’s time to be the grown-up and quit pouting. I need to give myself a swift kick in the pants, and pray for grace as I grab my family’s hands and we all jump into 2011, together.