Today marked my twenty-sixth Christmas, my fifth Christmas in the Treehouse, and my second Christmas with Tim. Once the presents have been opened and our tummies are full, just before the long winter’s nap, I ponder where I want to be this time next Christmas. A lot of people think about this kind of stuff on New Year’s a-la Bridgette Jones. But for some reason, the post-Christmas, I want to be in a completely different life this time next year mood sets in. I call it the After Christmas Itch.
Symptoms of the post Christmas Itch:
- You feel like you’ve done absolutely nothing and have nothing note worthy to say about your year would you have written a holiday newsletter
- You have a surplus of energy, more than likely brought about by the plethora of calories you took in
- You decide to do something totally out of the norm, like sign up for a marathon or hey, start a blog
- You promise yourself that no matter what, you will be in a completely different place next year, whether that means mentally, spiritually, location-wise, romantically, or professionally
We went around the table during Christmas dinner and I asked everyone where they wanted to be next year. I gave the vague answer but since I asked the question, I didn’t want to spill my guts over the beef tenderloin and macaroni and cheese, bringing everyone down into the sobering effect I felt. And actually typing this will hopefully keep me accountable. Haha! How many times have I typed that.
Planning for next year, I have a few goals that are going to be hard. But the best things in life are hard to achieve.
2013 was a year of awareness for me. I watched friends come together and fall apart as did a few of my relationships. I made amends with people who in the past I never thought would give me the time of day. But I did notice that I have a lot more growing up to do. Mentally, this time next Christmas, I want to be more understanding. Now, understanding does not mean gullible, it does not mean I am best friends with everyone, but I want to be a more understanding human being. Listening to people, genuinely listening to them and not writing them off immediately. That’s what I have started doing towards the end of this year. It’s easy in a group to fall into the jibber jabber of nonsense called “shit talking.” Language aside, it is what it is. What I have learned this year is that even when I am feeling like I am the best person I can be, I get up on my high horse, and begin pointing fingers and calling names without having the understanding of the person I am offending. I have noticed that, when an understanding is found, I feel like the world’s biggest jerk. And I am tired of feeling that way. Shooting off my mouth without thinking, without stopping to think for a moment “Hey, what you’re saying can get back to this person and it could potentially hurt them.” I think of the times it has been done to me, and how much it scarred me. What makes it right for me to act that way? What makes me different? Nothing. I choose that,by this time next year, I will be in the habit of pressing pause and seeing the perspective of another before I share my own.
Spiritually. This is a toughy, mainly because I have learned this year that the two things you DO NOT talk about in a public forum are politics and religion. So I will choose to step lightly. Honestly, I don’t know where I am belief wise. I may never know. It has been troubling for me this year because I was raised to be one way and actually got out into the world and learned so much more. Some would say I “deviated from my values” or “became tainted with sin.” I don’t know, maybe I have been. I certainly hope not. In fact, I have become more spiritually sound in accepting that it’s okay to not have everything figured out when it comes to my beliefs, which, like my personal self are malleable and able to bend. I understand that there are people out there like me and there are people who aren’t like me. This year, I have learned to be quiet when it comes to talks of religion. Yep, quiet. Because of it, I have learned so much more about the world, and I have grown to love the ones around me more because I have been silent. I have noticed that what people want most when it comes to sharing beliefs, is to be heard, acknowledged, and validated. No one likes to be told “You’re wrong” or “That’s stupid” or “You’re going to hell” for what you truly believe in. Despite the fact that my religious beliefs continue to change, my core belief: To love my neighbor with all my heart has stayed intact and grown stronger. Next Christmas, I hope to be ever more strong and loving towards my neighbors, friends, and family and to be there for them, no matter what they believe.
Location-wise, I am ready to break out. I bought the Treehouse when I was barely 21. Looking forward to my 26th birthday, I am now planning on expanding my living space, maybe even expanding the areas in which I’ve lived. As much as I love my house, it has grown from something that desperately needed love into something that is dearly loved and is ready to have someone else move in and care for it in the way that I have. I know I have been teasing at this for some time, but I truly feel that 2014 is the year that I make my move. It’s scary, it’s stressful, but having such a strong support system in my life from my friends, family, readers, and especially my Tim has finally began to push me forward into a new house that will need just as much if not, more love than the Treehouse. I am looking forward to the challenge.
Romantically is going to be totally different this year. My mindset has always been get to the finish line AKA marriage. That’s what I have been hardwired to do from a young age, thanks to Disney and fairy tales. But I have learned this year that everything comes in its due time. This past week, I was actually implored by a ten year old to “get married and have babies” because it was my duty as a 25 year old woman to do so. Christmas Eve, I looked at my 39 year old boyfriend and for the millionth time, realized that I was put on this Earth to love him. And that’s what I choose to do in 2014. To simply love him, no conditions, no pressures, no strings attached. Easier said than done especially with the social stigma that is a fresh slew of engagements (congratulations to all these ladies) on Facebook. But this year, I am really going to try. I love you, Tim. You deserve the best. So as far as what next Christmas will bring for Tim and I, bring it. Whatever it is, bring it.
Monday morning, I am starting my new position in the Rock Hill office of Allen Tate. I am not going to lie, you guys, I am scared. So very, very scared. But like anything worth something in life, fear is going to be present. I have had a brilliant year as my mom’s partner in Lancaster, but after living in Rock Hill for five years, the commute has taken a humongous toll on me. I am going to be in tutelage of a wonderful broker in charge, I will have a massive support group of realtors, and I am going to work my tookus off for my clients. If there is one thing I know after this year, I am not going to be perfect but I am going to fight to do my best.
I hope that your years have been merry and bright, and that your Christmases have been fulfilling and wonderful. I have so many blessings to count. And I am very much looking forward to a happy new year for everyone. Merry Christmas!