Today I packed away Christmas, tucking away all the decorations and ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future, with their memories, experiences, and anticipations. Away go the sadnesses and joys that belong to this season, alone. Has anyone else noticed that putting up Christmas decorations feels sometimes like pure joy, at other times a tiresome obligation, but putting them away is always a bit melancholy? At any rate, by January, I am ready to reclaim the house for the rest of the year.
My husband’s business of the last 18 years officially closed its doors on December 31. He still has a lot to do to sell off assets, close accounts, and clean out the building for the long board company buying it in March. He also will be moving on to another job, though we don’t yet know what that will be.
As I move closer to retirement from teaching, I am getting restless, frustrated with many aspects of the classroom these days. This has me looking at my post-teaching options (the most appealing of which still revolve around working with at-risk kids—it has never, ever been the kids that have contributed to my professional frustrations), and I feel torn between the commitments I have made and my own longing for something else.
There are also about two months to go to get to the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death. It’s been a complicated grieving process, and I’m kind of hoping that having made it through this year will allow me to pack some of that away, as well.
The next year and a half or so promise a lot of changes in the Reed family—none of them bad, some downright exciting, but I confess that it all has me feeling—yeah, that word I used before: restless. Maybe Monday will settle me a bit, back in the classroom and kids I love.
I hope that 2016 will be good to us all, though I know that it will be kind to some and cruel to others—really a mix of both for most, as every year is. Perhaps it is wiser to wish for us all courage, compassion, grace, and most of all—love.