January 6, 2013

REPORTING ASIDE: Battling the post-holiday doldrums

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

It's 6 a.m. and I don't want to get out of bed.

The cat hasn't jumped on my head to get me up because even he is smart enough to know it's too cold to go out.

All I want to do is curl up on the couch with a fleece blanket and gaze at the fire.

You know what I'm talking about -- it's the post-holiday blahs.

You're fat, lazy and sleepy.

You've been eating cookies, fudge and sweet bread for what seems like weeks and can't stop, even when the Christmas tins are all empty. The extra treats you've tossed into the freezer for future consumption are gone, and you know it's time to cease and desist.

But then a relative sends a belated package of homemade goodies your way.

What are you supposed to do? Throw it out? Nahhh, you can't do that. It's really good stuff and comes along only once a year.

So you gorge for what you tell yourself is the last time and promise to get back to reality the next day.

It's the denouement of the holiday season, and we suffer through it every year.

It starts just after New Year's Day and continues for a week or so until we're back on schedule, on track and fully settled into our old routines.

The decorations come down, the cards are tossed or filed away and final traces of holiday food disappear from the fridge and cupboards.

As the days wear on, the only reminder that the holidays are gone is a few errant fir needles you discover under the carpet as you vacuum up the last vestiges of the season.

No more parties, no more shopping, no more fancy meals.

We switch gears, from going out to staying in, pursuing activity to preferring quiet and from looking outward to turning introspective.

Time to clean the house, pare down, give away things we don't use, sift the wheat from the chaff.

And when we get restless, there are plenty of new books to read, movies to see, people to visit and birthdays to celebrate, to keep us amused.

Before we know it, spring will arrive and we'll wonder where the winter went so quickly. Then it'll be summer and fall and ... well, you know.

While we've got this down time, we might as well embrace it.

We're in a new year, with plenty of opportunity to get healthy, move on, start fresh.

We also get a chance to do good, right wrongs and spread some peace.

If we play our cards straight, 2013 can be a very happy year.

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 25 years. Her column appears here Mondays. She may be reached at acalder@centralmaine.com

 

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