Bright Eyes - “Road to Joy”
October was a month of significant change and it was, for the most part, excellent, but it was hard to see that in close-up - in many ways the excellence of the change October brought was too overwhelming, too monumental to understand and appreciate.
So now November’s on its way out and I feel like I’ve just careened through it, continuing in the patterns of risk-taking that October bred. I did a lot of the things I love in November: running in wonderful places, eating at the best/favouritest restaurants, drinking with excellent people, watching sappy movies with my partner, dancing to Motown, partying with politicos, learning and sharing with like-minded colleagues, singing my heart out at karaoke, committing to new adventures and listening to a lot of great music. As much as it feels like I’m tearing apart at the seems living life so extremely, there have been moments of calm, of pause, of self-care and of reflection, and I feel like it’s been a nearly perfect month because of this.
Last year, I welcomed December and the madness of holiday party season. The year before I did not. This year, I think I’m ready, I think I’m excited (I am especially excited for specific events this week and next, for example) but I’m also worried about getting too excited. The let-down part of the holidays was hard for me last year, and I need to enter this seemingly joyful time with a knowledge that it’s okay to not feel joy all the time. To moderate my enthusiasm in all aspects of my life is always a great challenge, but I know it’s necessary.
Staring down another Christmas without my Dad doesn’t get any easier, but it does become more real, more acceptable perhaps, and does force us, the whole of the family left missing him at this time of year, to continue to carve out our own new traditions. Last year we hosted Christmas Day, with a turkey my mum prepped at her house driven by car to ours and cooked in our oven. We might do that this year, too. Whatever we do, it will be celebratory and reflective, filled with love and remembrance, and probably good music, too.
Whatever I do this next month, I’ll continue to make sure it too is celebratory but reflective, exciting but moderated, filled with activities and people I love, good music, good food, and good drink. From the parties I don’t really even want to attend to the ones I can’t wait for, from the family stuff I dread to the stuff (most of it) that I look forward to, from the buffet meals to the bottomless glasses of wine, from Toronto to Paris, December is here, and it brings with it so much potential.