When all the things you've accomplished and changed and lost come into review; and you think about all the things you want to accomplish and change in the new year without any of the worry or grief of the losses to come.
It can be magical with the holiday season flashing it's pretty lights and joyous TV ad campaigns, or it can be so stressful on your finances and your time that you want to move to a third-world country and hide under a banana leaf. Usually it's a bit of both which can be incredibly overwhelming. With any luck, Santa will gift wrap your brain and leave it under the tree for you so you can begin the new year with a shred of mental clarity.
If you're like me, getting through December requires no less than two calendars, a day planner and enough post-it notes to wallpaper all of the Tri-State area. Not to mention enough Advil, Tylenol and Excedrin to knock out repeated bouts with 'The Headache That Ate Manhattan". And sleep is simply a daydream you get to haze in & out of for 31 days, unless you also suck down some NyQuil to battle the pre-requisite winter cold which will attack you because you're living on caffeine, sugar (in the form of holiday goodies) and sleeplessness while purposefully striding into the germ-warfare hotbeds of Target, Wal-mart and the mall--and the grocery store (did you see that report?!? Disgusting!)
Oh, yes, and we get to do all of this running around while freezing our ever-loving-asses-off! I guess the movement creates friction and warms us up making the hustle-and-bustle something of an exercise in survival... Yeah, I'll go with that. Makes me feel better about hitting 17 stores per day to find the perfect fluglehorn for Aunt Ida and the most-specific-call-number electronics item for Uncle Jack. Oh what I wouldn't give to only have to get the items on the 12-Days-of-Christmas list; I could get all that shit online!
This year is even more difficult though, because ~as the American public has known since last December~ we're in a recession, and now it's official. So when you only get little Jimmy one matchbox car with a single piece of track to put under your 4-foot-pre-lit-artificial-tree, you're no longer a cheapskate, you're simply trying to also make sure that little Jimmy gets fed... and if you're doing really well, he'll also have a roof over his head and heat.
I can't say that I'm sorry to see 2008 go. A lot of loss and change this year, and for me, anyway, a lot of those changes were huge and irreversible. I suspect I'm not alone in that. But you can't go backwards, you can only look to the future and try to maintain your hope for the best. Your hope that the Universe knows what it's doing, even if we can't see how it could possibly all work out. I will take several deep breaths and encourage you to do the same.
2009 is coming...soon. Good luck to you during the beginning of the end. And hey, when it get's really bad, you can console your self with the knowledge that W. is almost out of office too...
See, knew that'd perk you right up!