Signposts of Time

Last year sped by so fast that by the middle of January, I was already seeing the end, and within another month, the year was done. Or so it felt.

Not so this year. Slow. Slow. Slow. The year is progressing so slowly that something as unseasonable as an early snowstorm — not uncommon in Colorado — has thrown me off track. We went from almost a hundred degrees to almost freezing in a single night, and the rain turned to snow. Although it’s supposed to heat up to the eighties and nineties starting tomorrow, for now the dreary days are continuing.

I have an urge to dig out my Christmas decorations, especially my bowls of light and other lighted things like my small tree, because I keep thinking Christmas is almost here.

What a shock to realize that particular holiday is still one hundred and five days away! Halloween and Thanksgiving haven’t even come, and it’s too early to decorate for those days, too. Not that I celebrate any of these holidays — since I’m alone, one day is much like another. It’s more that they are signposts that time is moving along. (I did celebrate Christmas last year, or more accurately, I celebrated having my own kitchen and oven, but I doubt I will do the same this year — although I have been especially careful with my diet the past several months, I still haven’t been able to lose the cookie weight from last Christmas.)

Luckily, the sun will come out again, and though the brightness will dispel my feelings of an imminent Christmas, it won’t do much to speed up this interminable year.

My only choice then, is to take the days as they come. To look at the small picture and focus on the short term (even though my tarot card today told me to look at the big picture and focus on the long term). To enjoy the respite from the heat, and when the heat returns, enjoy the respite from the cold. Because truly, does it matter if last year passed in a flash and this year is moving at slow speed? What does another year get me except another year older and a completely different number for my age?

Come to think of it, that’s the number I don’t particularly want because it’s the one where a person can no longer pretend not to be old. So perhaps, after all, I’ll keep the Christmas things packed away. No sense in hurrying things along.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator