Strap it on!

(Originally posted on writealready2017)

Now before you read on, let me clarify: despite the title indicating such, this blog entry is NOT about some sort of wearable intimate device. Today I’m feeling a bit introspective and sluggish–and decided to delve into it with you. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you were hoping for a bit of smut.

Something about the holidays stirs up a strange mixture of feelings for me; a bizarre and fluctuating combination of childish excitement, melancholy, contentment, and depression. Ron Weasley put it aptly: “You’re going to suffer, but you’re going to be happy about it.”

I’ve tried umpteen times to figure out this conundrum, so as to accentuate the good and eradicate the bad…to no avail. I just can’t seem to put a finger on the cause of my lows–and sometimes in life, especially when you deal with anxiety and depression on a regular basis, lows just happen. They are surely exacerbated by the shorter days, the post-holiday letdown, or the exhaustion of dealing with so many social commitments…and, unfortunately, my modus operandi for responding to these more frequent downswings is to exercise less, eat more, and essentially wallow in my gloom. Every little annoyance or mistake becomes something to covet and obsess over, and self-doubt gnaws away at any confidence you may have had in your endeavors–whatever they may be.

The joy and excitement that I am still able to experience this time of year usually revolves around my children–adults, now–and our ongoing Christmas traditions. We still decorate the tree together, listening to all the corny Christmas music I can find on Amazon, and sipping egg nog; we make the time to watch every one of our favorite Christmas specials together (mine is the Albert Finney version of “Scrooge” from 1970); they still take turns each day putting a Christmas-themed ornament in the hand-stitched felt advent calendar, right up until December 24th. I dread the day when they no longer live here to share these moments–believe me, I’m going to do my best to guilt them into returning home from wherever they end up to at least decorate the tree with me.  And I still find myself itching with glorious anticipation as my husband and kids open up their gifts–especially the ones they weren’t expecting, that I sleuthed out the need for on my own.

My bouts of melancholy are undoubtedly brought about by my own childhood Christmas memories–which I recall fondly and frequently. I think that most people experience some level of melancholia when looking back on a happy childhood–or any good memory, at that; what is a fond memory other than a few moments in time that you can never, ever go back to? Yes, in theory, you can recreate the who, the what, the where…but never the when.  When someone prefaces a question with the words, “Remember when…?”, more often than not, the memory being recalled is a fond one–one that evokes smiles and laughter.

Anyway, something I’ve learned in my 50+ years on this earth is that, once the holidays are over, I am able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and, as Stephen King puts it in Lisey’s Story, STRAP IT ON.

I love that.

So, here I am, my dear readers–getting ready to strap it on, so that I can face the new year and get myself on track again. After I finish here, I think I’ll go throw away that leftover cheesecake, and maybe do that Insanity Max 30 workout I’ve been meaning to try for a few weeks now.

Now let’s go write something.