I’m having a hard time fathoming that in less than four weeks, the year will be over. The month of November was practically lost on me, work was incredibly busy but has thankfully quieted down and I spent some time with childhood friends. Thanksgiving happened quickly and then the Christmas decorations were pulled out – the lighted tree in its rightful place, the snowmen candles flickering, and a wooden spoon reindeer made eons ago tucked in an out-of-the-way on a kitchen shelf. Christmas shopping stared early (a first, actually) and is nearly finished.
I feel like time this year has fast forwarded. Just when I feel caught up, I’m behind. I suppose I should be used to the feeling by now.
I have had one childhood friend in from Florida on a longer than expected due to circumstances beyond her control visit. Another childhood friendship rekindled earlier in the year after several years of silence. There is something incredibly remarkable about childhood friendships. These two women I’ve known since before I can remember, having been literally only 3 or 4 years old when first introductions took place. I don’t have a memory from childhood that doesn’t involve one or the other or sometimes both in some way. Nowadays, visits with these friends usually involve hands curled around wine glasses, telling of old stories and discussions of current states of affairs. Conversation is easy, there’s no need for background stories or filling in the blanks, all parties involved know all of that. When you’ve been a part of someone’s life for almost your whole existence there isn’t much that is unknown, at least in some frame. Over the years, those friendships grew into family, the sort of kind you need around you when it’s been an emotionally tough year and you don’t have the mental or emotional strength to go into the back story. They just know.
I feel like I haven’t been the friend I usually try to be this year. I’ve been on the receiving end of far more kind gestures, emails, and packages than I have sent out. There have been cards and emails that have gone unanswered, not for any particularly good reason. I am vowing to change that in the coming months. My friendships, both old and new and the ones that fall in between, are incredibly important to me, and I need to be better about acknowledging that and in general, keeping in touch, other than through random text message or “liking” pictures on social media.
I’m ready for the holidays, but am unsure what they will feel like without my stepdad. Things have been different for a few years but there is no preparation for the finality of a loved one not being there. In the mean time, there are Christmas concerts to attend, cookies to bake, and presents to wrap (or bag, in my case, because wrapping paper frustrates me).
Winter has arrived in my area of the world in full force. From here on out, plans will be made with the caveat “depending on the weather.” This time of year lends itself really well to finally reading some of the books on my always-being-added-to to be read list, sleeping late on the weekends with no plans and generally a slower paced few months. Im in dire need of some winter cleaning out and throwing out. But I always manage to put that off.
Tell me, friends, how have you been spending your time? Are you ready for the holidays? Did you have any “lost” months this year?