This year I learned that romjul – the time between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – is traditionally 5 days of no holds-barred. A kind of winter Mardi Gras without the parades or brass.

I have no idea if romjul is somehow related linguistically to rumspringa, but I’ve been staying up later than usual, drinking a bit more than usual, and not keeping to any kind of routine.

I’m feeling incredibly irresponsible.

And somewhat sulky.

More adolescent than menopausal. Is that a good thing?

S. preparing the Feuerzangenbowle on a Christmas Past

In recent years we’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to two gatherings of friends that have marked the start of the season for us. Both were cancelled this year to keep us all safe.

International quarantine rules meant I had no family members here on Christmas Day. E. and I ate takeaway, and I’m a little ashamed.

I haven’t even put the New Year’s beef in the brine yet. I keep saying I’ll do it “later”. I believe I may have procrastinated my way right past a decent corned beef this year.

We’ve run along the trail sporadically over the past week. We ran on Christmas day, but now that I think about it, we didn’t even say Merry Christmas to people we passed. We were focused on not slipping on the ice. (Note to self: time to pull out the yaktrax.)

Even my meditation has been haphazard this week. I’m feeling a bit disassociated from my own life. Off track. Maybe at a juncture?

In a strange way this romjul-feeling may be the only thing about Christmastime that is familiar this year: the chaotic-slightly frightening-freedom. Waiting for the world to get back on track. Back to work. Back to routine. Back to practice. Back to it.

And questioning what it really is.

This morning I got up early, filled a thermos with coffee, and walked Leonard down to the park in the moonlight. I left the phone at the house.

It feels as though I’m approaching this new year from an odd angle. A bit like hesitating on the diving board: here I go… in a minute. Later. Tomorrow. Do I want to do this? Really?

These last few days have expanded exponentially in my mind: into a huge space filled with should-haves. I should have hung the new blinds in the kitchen. I should have cleaned out the closets. I should have written a whole damn book to justify all this emptied space.

Instead I’ve been watching gimp tutorials for days.

When Leonard has been sleeping, or when he’s been intensely sniffing after another dog’s trail, he shimmies. It’s like a reset button.

Looking toward a New Year

It’s what I’m telling myself this morning afternoon: Shake it off!

Running isn’t enough right now. Maybe I need some loud music and a bit of real shimmying? Something extraordinary to force me to switch tracks?

And then approach to my practice with renewed intention.

The key word for our time is practice.
We have all the light we need, we just need to put it into practice.
PEACE PILGRIM

Happy New Year. I’m gonna ask E. to put on some music.