The Reality of January.
January 3, 2015 § 1 Comment
About this time of year, I always think of when I was seventeen. I had finished high school. Completed exams that had been built up for years as the all-important gateway to my future. Christmas was over, and time was hurtling me into January, into a space of limbo between leaving school and the rest of my life, amidst a long, hot summer.
It did not take me long at all to realise that those all-important exams were not so essential after all. No one I met in the wider world seemed to care about them, or even mention them. I felt ripped off. I had bought into an illusion about the ‘right’ pathways a teenager should take, and I felt somewhat empty.
But more than that, I felt purposeless. Exam results were not out for a while, so there were no decisions to be made about University or otherwise. I had a part time job, which kept some rhythm in my life. My friends were all socialising regularly, but after a couple of parties I was over it. There seemed no point to it. I will always remember that January, how I drifted along in a state of discomfort and melancholy, waiting for the rest of my life to begin.
Which brings me to my life now, some twenty years later. And how, every January, after the rush of Christmas and New Years, I feel that familiar melancholy creep into my being. Now that I have children, I look forward to this time, I do. As November and December pass by too quickly and in a blur of busyness, I long for these days where I have no job but to be with my children.
But once I get here, I feel lost. We do lots of swimming and board games and see movies and hang out with the relatives, and that is all fun. But at home, at night, when everyone is asleep, I lie awake, wondering about the big questions of life, and about my place in it.
It may not be a negative thing – maybe January gives me the time to ponder the deeper layers of life- time that I don’t have during the rest of the year. With all the inevitable talk of New Years’ Resolutions, maybe I am performing a natural evaluation of my life and it’s direction. Or maybe I am exhausted and in need of a good break – not just from school routines and my part time work, but from my home and familiar surroundings.
Again I think back to the past, and the two week holiday our family took every year without fail, leaving at 6am each Boxing Day. Somehow that two weeks at the beach served as a break between the year just gone and the one just beginning. All that swimming, exercise, simple eating and laying around was healthy and rejuvenating for me, even as a child.
So this becomes my New Years’ Resolution, of sorts. To go on a holiday – a proper holiday away from home. Let’s see if it helps.