The Artist and I go back to our ‘day jobs’ this afternoon, after the longest Christmas break ever.
Despite – or perhaps because of – the ubiquitous seasonal virus infecting us both – it’s been a great holiday. Apart from quality time spent with our expanding family and a handful of close friends, many lazy days have passed without us leaving the building, or seeing anyone but each other. It’s just as well we get along, or it could have been a nightmare.
Dosed up with copious amounts of over-the-counter cough and cold medication, I spent a satisfying amount of time cocooned in faux polar on the sofa, idly observing the subtle play of fading light across my dormant garden, translucent sun setting, streetlamps flickering into life. Moving, natural artwork, framed by my living room window.
With my normally healthy appetite depressed and my tummy unsettled, I’ve not strayed far from my usual wheat/dairy- free regime. Never a successful drinker at the best of times, I indulged in alcohol only rarely. (Sloe Whisky – genius invention, Mr. Wheeler!) So, whilst others are easing tight waistbands and resolving to detox (once all the leftovers have been consumed), I can happily pull on what are – by my generous standards – ‘thin’ jeans.
And, sometime during the last fifteen days, I grew older. Don’t get me wrong – I view having reached this physical age, relatively intact, as an achievement, celebrating the fact that my life so far has been one hell of a ride. (Literally, as well as metaphorically, given that The Artist is a committed motorcyclist and I’m his biker babe. Bless!) I love being a grandmother, shamelessly embracing the well-worn clichés about the joys to be had (they’re true!) and I have no desire to cling to, or re-create, my youth. Heaven forbid – it was traumatic enough the first time round!
But I cannot deny that my priorities have definitely altered, that there’s been a shift in my consciousness. Details that used to consume me, no longer matter; I’ve eased up on my expectations – of myself and other people, just for today I’m at peace with what is. When I first realized this, it was weird and a little bit sad but – now I’ve adjusted – I’m finding it liberating!
In the past I would have labeled this a disappointing Christmas, lacking in excitement, boring. I would have felt deprived and sorry for myself, imagining that the rest of the universe was having a whale of a party, with me relegated to the sidelines.
Today, however, I’m relaxed, rested and ready to embrace the next thrilling chapter.