January 2016

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.

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Paula is an author of historical fiction as well as a wife, mom, and teacher.
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3 Responses to January 2016

  1. James says:

    I get it about the anniversary, Paula. It’s strange; for me it was part emotional reprise, but largely a whole new “grieving process.” That’s really not the term I’d use. It’s more like an emergence–a year without a parent who previously had lived every year you’d lived. Sadness has been part of that for me, but also much more. The dialogue with the parent continues, and I continue, and it’s quite cool. A lot of joy is in there.

    I wish this joy for you in the coming year. Thanks for this post.

  2. Traci Phillips says:

    Paula Paula you are an amazing writer! Love to read your blog. I wish I had the ability to express my feelings in writing the way you can. I am going to call you this week to see if we can schedule a lunch soon. I want to hear about the new career adventure.

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