I meant to write a more thorough overview of what I was doing with the "extra time" over the holidays. But I don't think I had as much extra time at the end of the year as I expected to have. What follows is a brief overview what I did do, how the new year has begun and what I've been thinking about.
In years past the time at the end of the year was a time to catch up on lost sleep and connections that had fallen by the wayside in the recent months. I also used the time, in some years, to get a lot done: one year I knit about 10 hats. Another, I wrote about a quarter of a novel on a binge. Some years I just vegged.
This year, is different. I haven't been in school full time for years, and I haven't received any college credit in a year. I didn't have significant time off of work. There's a way in which the holidays were incredibly relaxing. I still have a bunch of friends who are in the later stages of being students, and there's something awesome about not being a student that's incredibly relaxing. I mean, working a regular job is not all sunshine and rainbows, but it's pretty swell, and there's something about the structure of regular and the mostly even routine that makes it--to my mind--have a greater potential for productivity than "the academic routine."
In a lot of ways, while I looked forward to holiday time off, and saved up countless projects for that time off, not only did I not make "epic headway" on my projects but I came into the new year feeling sort of behind and tired. Wierd. I blame this on the holidays themselves. It's as if the entire world slows down: everything gets more difficult for a month or as if the planet is slowly careening to toward this thing that we don't really enjoy (if we're being honest,) but that we pretend we really love.
And there's no getting away from it. You can't really opt out of the holidays: even if you're not particularly festive, you can't control the celebration of other people. You can't control the fact that the same four songs play on endless repeat in public spaces, you can't control that everyone wishes you a good holiday, you can't control all of the federal holidays, you can't escape tacky decorations, you just can't escape. And after like 3 days of this, you get tired.
In previous years, the break, the chance to take time off from the big projects I'd been working on (school, applying to graduate school, etc.) was a great opportunity to get "other things done." Now, there's no real break from the daily grind, just modulations and finding good balance. That's an ongoing project, and one that's better serviced by a good routine and not a few extra days off during a stressful time of year. In any case, I'm glad to have gotten back into things, and I look forward to getting things done.
Onward an Upward!