I always feel a sense of sadness and joy at this time of year. A song that always brings tears to my eyes is ‘So this is Christmas’ by John Lennon.
So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
It breaks my heart every single time. It’s the balance of life: an ending, and a beginning, the young and the old. A time for collective reflection, gratitude, and compassion. It’s a reminder of our aliveness, and how all things pass. I’m sure many of us can remember that uncontainable excitement we felt as kids waiting eagerly for Christmas. Then becoming parents or aunts and uncles, wrapping gifts for the kids, and going through the trouble to make the holiday special, knowing how important it is for them. To finally becoming old and weary, sitting at the back of the scene, watching the kids squeal in excitement and the parents clean up the wrapping paper. The older I get the more nostalgic I become, I suppose because there is more of my life to reflect back on. I see how painful and beautiful it can be. I see how transient life is, even if it doesn’t ever feel like that in the moment.
I love the end of the year because it feels like we are all headed towards a collective hibernation. Everyone is madly trying to wrap up their projects for the year, preparing for the Christmas break. The energy in the air feels charged and electric. The start of another year around the corner feels refreshing and hopeful. It’s comforting knowing that I share this experience with the rest of the world.
Although this year has been beautiful, it has also been lonely and isolating at times. As a new mum working from home, I feel like I’m out of society yet playing a part in raising society. Being a new mum is hard, especially without family around to help. It’s just me and my husband, and while I do feel like we make a good team, there are days when it all seems overwhelming. I know that I should savour these moments with my daughter, I know how quickly it will all go by. But knowing this doesn’t take away from the relentlessness of taking care of a small child. Having to put away your own needs all the time is a massive adjustment. I yearn for a small community, a place of friendly familiar faces where my daughter can be adored and loved by others; a place of connection and belonging with other adults of all ages and life stages. A place to learn and grow, a place to just be ourselves. I’m still trying to find that. For now, I take small steps that seem to be in the right direction. I remember a mentor once told me, “You can have everything you want, just not at the same time.” I wonder if that’s true?
Here’s to another year gone, and another one soon to begin. That small sliver of time we get just before it all changes again. From my family to yours, I wish you a restful and rejuvenating Christmas holiday and a wonderful year ahead.