“It’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last.
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself,
To hold on to these moments as they pass.”
Counting Crows, “A Long December”
In the last few days, these lyrics from an old Counting Crows song keep drifting through my mind. It’s hard to believe that yet another year is coming to a close. This one went fast.
Already, the countdown to the holidays has begun. Gifts have been purchased, holiday cards ordered and our annual New York trip planned. Next year’s Mommy Agenda (my calendar) has been cracked open and its pristine expanses of white marked up with penciled notations of next year’s happenings. Time is marching on.
And though the added events and projects, school events and parties, deadlines and gifts and all the end of the year goings on that must be gotten through can get intense, I do love this time of year. The air is crisp and refreshing after the endless heat of summer, winter coats are a novelty that haven’t yet become cumbersome and the days have a celebratory anticipation to them.
It is, after all, only a matter of weeks before things wind up and settle down and I can relax with my husband, children and extended family and friends. There will be no rushing out the door in the dark of the morning, no alarm clocks, not much to do as the new year comes creeping in. Just feeling the warmth of being surrounded by family and of not measuring time by a list of to-dos.
It is also the season for nostalgia and I am keenly aware of those who are not with me anymore. My father has only been gone five months, my mother a year and a half. And while the holidays tend to highlight their absence, they also make me so wonderfully thankful for those family and friends who are in my life.
Rather than look forward toward a new year, I want to appreciate every moment that I have now. I just want to be right here, in this long December.
Lauren Menis is a Dunwoody mother whose column appears in The Crier each month. You can reach Lauren at Lauren.Menis@gmail.com