Happy Yule! Merry Christmas! Peaceful Solstice! Happy Hanukah! However you celebrate, wherever you may be celebrating, I hope it was joyful for you and I wish you peace and health in the coming New Year.

It is the day after Christmas festivities in our house. Christmas Eve is traditionally spent with my mom and dad at their house and any guests they might have. Christmas Day is just us and usually means a lot of cooking, but I can cook in pajamas and not have to worry how I look and can enlist the kids to help. It was a great holiday for us. The food came out great and on time, and without so much as one glitch. Yay for me! I had received my gift early, a silver-tipped Siamese cat whose name is Neptune and who is already fitting in with the family very well. My previous cat died a year ago in October and I really thought I was not going to get another cat for a long time. It’s still very hard knowing she is not here and I miss her terribly, but Neptune is a joyful addition. He’s about 4 months old, was rescued as a wee lil babe in San Antonio just before Harvey, as part of their feral cat rescue. He was abandoned by his momma and fostered by a wonderful and caring woman, who I am very grateful for. Neptune has really found a place in my heart.

I don’t know about all of you, but for me, there is always an after-holiday-crash. Between the excitement of gift buying and preparations made for meals and the kids being home from school, I’m always incredibly busy. Even as someone who struggles with chronic illness and has had to adapt and modify how much I do, I always find myself busy and then crashing hard after Christmas. Still, there is that mad dash toward the end of the year hot on the heels of Christmas, but it’s never with as much enthusiasm. New Years is nice enough and we always plan an evening of fun with the kids that usually ends up with watching movies and eating a variety of finger foods. The following day is generally clean up day and maybe some napping as we head into the new year.

This year’s crash feels harder than usual. I find myself feeling badly because my mom did Christmas Eve and I could see she was exhausted. She’s 70 years old and I should be the one doing everything for the holidays, but that kind of preparation from start to finish would leave me unable to function for a week. But my mom is from Cuba and Christmas Eve entails some traditions that I’m just not sure I could continue without serious commitment from all my children and my husband. As I write this, I am actually wondering if perhaps changing some of the typical Cuban fanfare for Christmas Eve would make it more do-able or perhaps changing the entire menu and doing something different might give my mom a break and inspire the kids to be more participatory and maybe, start their own traditions. Whether or not it is in a few years or a few months, eventually one or more of them will probably have a family or want to host the holidays at their place or maybe they want to bring their own dish to the table. Maybe it is time to be more flexible.

Today has been a mix of cleaning and resting. Since my recent surgeries and effort to recover, I have not been able to clean the way I might. Of course, the way I might typically exhausts me regularly and I certainly don’t need surgery recovery as an excuse. My kids have done their best to clean and keep up with everything, but I am cursed with OCD and so it’s been building up for some time now, though I have been able to squash it down because I wasn’t able to physically do it hobbling about with a walker. But now, with my cane, I feel like I have to try and so I have been really tired. I have been tackling one room as I can, sometimes not getting through the entire thing in one day. Today was my bathroom and vacuuming my bedroom. With new kitty, it has to be cleaned regularly or we both start sneezing. I think I have gotten done as much as I can get done today. As though the after-holiday-crash weren’t enough, it’s been gloomy and raining and cold all day and it doesn’t look like it’s about to change at all. This does little to inspire me to do much else but laze about, so I am pretty pleased that I have at least cleaned some, added to my blog and will do one more chore before I pick up a book and do something I haven’t done in recent months- read!

One last thing before I go. New Years is often about new beginnings. I don’t put much stock in resolutions because I think it sets you up for failure. I think it is a combination of setting an intention and doing little things every day to change your lifestyle, that helps you to change. So at midnight, on New Year’s Eve, set your intention for the year. Then every day hence, make one small change to your lifestyle that supports your intention.

To all my readers and your families: A blessed holiday to you and peaceful and healthy New Year.

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