Why does it seem that all of life’s major events seem to leave you in the dust and longing for more? I mean, we get to the other side of weddings, holidays, even home building and all of a sudden we’re searching for life’s next big moment and something else to set our sights on. With kids, it’s even worse because those dollies and trucks don’t really provide the hours of childhood entertainment we expected; actually losing their luster not long after the security wires and twist ties have been meticulously removed. And here in the Midwest, we also have the daunting and at times, gloomy, long days of winter ahead of us. For as much as I love the moment that I pack the last of our holiday decorations, it’s always been hard to relax in the aftermath of the festivities. I find myself searching for something new to sink my teeth into.
I can remember returning from my honeymoon and realizing, with great disbelief, that it was over. I can honestly say I felt that way after the birth of my children, too (and I was all too ready to have those pregnancies come to their joyous ends in the final days, believe me!) Recently, after building our home, and truly loving it, I fell into a bit of a slump. My husband mistook my attitude for not caring for our home. That couldn’t have been further from the truth, but it took me awhile to figure out that I was just disappointed that the build up was over. I missed the daily trips to our ever-changing dwelling and mostly the anticipation of what was to come. Thankfully, in all those instances, life has certainly provided me with something new to cling to or focus on; some little seed to grow. It always does.
I guess it’s human nature that keeps us moving on and maybe that’s a good thing as long as we’re enjoying our big moments before switching gears. In our house, we have three of our five birthdays in January to celebrate. This makes living in the holiday moment a bit of a challenge for sure. Our girls, five and three, are well into birthday deliberations before school lets out for the holidays and by the time our ornaments get packed away, I have a list a mile long to contend with. A good friend coined the phrase “birthday palooza” - an undoubtedly fitting title for those of us who have two or more family birthdays in close vicinity.
I can’t tell you how much I have complained about those January birthdays; what to plan, the kids getting too many gifts, all the money out the door at once. But this year, I have a completely different outlook. I’m thankful for them and realize that they’ve made it easy on me to avoid an annual post-holiday holiday slump after all. To boot, I have a great excuse for keeping family get-togethers and celebrations simple since we’ve all just spent a month over-indulging in all sorts of good things. This year, I’ll be grateful to ride out that forward motion and plan our simple party – pizza maybe – right after the holidays. Who really needs a big spread anyway? We’re all trying to lose those five pounds we just gained, right?
Now, for what to do in February…..