Win­ter break is over?

The Covington News - - Newton at play - Kari Apted Colum­nist Kari Apted may be reached at kari@kari­

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.

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