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Diarist B35 Day 21

new year’s weekend 

the whole weekend blossomed in a lot of down time; of slacking before going back to work in hopes of maximizing my away-from-work decompression. the dismal rainy haze weather helped to keep me unmotivated to venture forth on a hike or some such outdoorsy thing as i have often done. in younger days or lighter moods, this would not have deterred me. 

of course, acts of daily life continued: feeding our pets, letting the dog out, doing dishes and laundry, running to the grocery for afterthoughts, etc. 


saturday, 31 december 2022  

my wife and i spent the majority of this day watching movies and tv shows. no parties or friends over. no inebriated debauchery. the mystique for this “holiday” left us long ago if it really ever held any for us. maybe long ago but awareness of other calendars provided us with the arbitrariness of the turn of the year and how the celebration had no actual ties to celestial or natural cycles of any kind. it has become an excuse to make merry – nothing wrong with that, we just do not feel any obligation to seek out social interactions. the most significant socialization outside the house we had came from video chatting with my eldest child who had returned to her own home out of state. she seemed fine but missed her older cat because she had left her with us for a while to hopefully recover from some health issues induced by recent life disruptions. my son went to his mother’s for a while but returned well before the clock struck the New Year. in fact, within 15 minutes of that event, he went to bed saying “meh.” my wife and i stayed up to see it through with some sparkling wine from Italy or Spain, i cannot recall. when the clock ticked over, i texted all of my children “it’s 2023” -including the one who had gone to bed- then finally went to bed about an hour later. we did not actually see the NYT ball drop but we did watch some free live-streaming video from Times Square and fireworks at l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 


sunday, 01 january 2023 

i got up early to begin prepping the new year’s day meal: fried cabbage, corned beef brisket, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and lentil loaf. this, too, i had inherited. an annual feast that my mother would make although she never cooked corned beef… it was usually meat loaf or pot roast or something like that. as i grew up i learned more about the often wrong-headed ideas that americans have about cuisine and what traditions the blurred ersatz american foods had replaced and i replaced them right back. i did not make any dessert since we still had a few crumbs from yule. i meant to eat around noon and we did that, my wife, son, and i. no one else came despite my expectation and invitation. at this point, i felt exhausted from my holiday cooking and baking fervor over the past week and a half. even though i enjoyed it immensely, i felt very ready to be done. so, when the last bite passed our lips and we had cleared the table, i happily relaxed. 

however, i had one more thing to do: take down the yule decorations. a tradition i picked up from my parents that i have kept all these years: up during thanksgiving weekend, down on new year’s day. i find it a cozy bookending ritual to close out and begin each year. the lights, stockings, miniature village, and the rest lend to a bit of magic in the house for about two months. dismantling it all, cutting our natural tree up for a wildlife-supporting brush pile, yule log to burn on a future yule, and ornaments i make from its wood, viscerally signals a transition from the dark part of the year to the light, according to old celtic knowledge. it creates an entrance into a new year, free from the trappings of the old one, clearing away what was for what will become. akin to spring cleaning but more celebratory, this re-secration lasted most of the day. by the time we finished, daylight had waned and we started pondering dinner. which would consist of leftovers, of course. 

we spent the evening much like the previous one. 


monday, 02 january 2023 

not much to tell here except that this represented mine and my wife’s last day off before returning to work. again, i did my best to maximize slacking and decompression before heading back to civilization and employment tasks. i spent lunch and some of the afternoon catching up with an old friend but, otherwise, the day passed uneventfully. we welcomed bedtime even though we knew it meant the end of our break.