How long did it take you after college to stop thinking about life in terms of semesters? I think it took me a couple of years, but the transition was rushed by having to negotiate with coworkers who could get vacation the week between Christmas and New Years instead of receiving it automatically during the school break.
This past week has felt a little like my freshman year of college. That year my dorm room was decorated with twinkle lights. Studying late at night for finals until mid-December. My soundtrack was U2′s Joshua Tree on repeat, but now I’m listening to a finely-tuned Pandora station.
Everything had to be finished by the week of finals, and then I packed my clothes and things into a couple of suitcases and traveled home. Except that it was half-home, because I was in the middle of settling into a new life somewhere else.
Next month right after the holidays, I’ll pack our clothes and things into a couple of suitcases and move the rest to a storage unit until we find somewhere new to settle. We’ll stay with family for a couple of weeks, and then make a short-term move to Florence for a couple of months, and then who knows where?
This December so far is filled with a happy amount of gift-giving, lights, Bible reading, and Christmas parties, but there’s also been a reckoning: I’ve had to deal with all my unfinished stuff before my self-imposed mid-December deadline, which is why late last night I worked on the filing (something which I haven’t had time to do all year). Because I’m sure not taking the filing with me.
Yes, this month has been partly about finishing projects that get pushed down the list when I’m busy working on bigger plans and daily life. Dentist appointment, new glasses, car maintenance, and filing. Deferred projects mingled with holiday lights and family outings, but there’s a hope of starting something new soon, like a brand new semester.
There’s something really satisfying about combining January tasks with December parties.
And so I look at the Christmas tree and think about how this will be the last time we decorate this apartment and this fireplace for the holidays, and how I won’t even have a true forwarding address. But I don’t care; I’m feeling bold, and that is nothing like my freshman year of college.