I’m about to have an idea. Don’t ask me how I know it, I just do, and I’m super excited about it. I’m also about to have a nephew, and my vocabulary isn’t deep enough to express how thrilled I am about his new human who is about to be my favorite human who has ever existed. I’m actually excited about a number of pending things, which shouldn’t be an unusual thing to confess, except that it is. Because it’s not just that I’m excited about things that I’m waiting for, but also that I’m actually enjoying waiting for them. And that is new.
It’s always been my unequivocal opinion that waiting is the worst. Of all of the things that one could line up and assign a value to – teddy bears, hot dogs, heartbreak, road trips – waiting is at the farthest end of the preference spectrum for me. The shorter the transition, the quicker the decision, the more rapid the development, better, better, better. It’s something in my DNA that makes me part hummingbird, part bull in a china shop (check my family tree. It’s in there), and for a long time I didn’t see any problem with that.
On a seemingly different topic, remember when the excitement of the holidays started to wear off? It’s difficult to describe exactly when or how, but sometime between one’s late teens and early 20s, the period of time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year loses its magic and becomes a lot of busy obligations that are expensive and time-consuming, and come with as much responsibility as they do enjoyment. That sounds pretty jaded, but compared to the wonderland of awe and merriment that defined holidays in my childhood, the reality of adulthood just doesn’t hold a candle. It’s just life.
What I’m realizing this year, with so many genuinely exciting things on my personal horizon, is that it’s my own fault that holidays have lost some luster. Because I’m always in such a stinking, demanding hurry, it never occurs to me to enjoy the wait. There’s nothing like spending eight months thinking about your new, tiny family member to infuse waiting with happiness. And with the experience I’ve gained from writing and publishing my first book, I’m allowing myself to really take pleasure in the slow, internal development of my ideas for my second. And that’s all the “magic” of the holidays ever was – it was simply indulging in the joy of waiting.
So this year I am more excited for the holiday season than I have been for years – probably for more than a decade. I can’t wait to get my hands on my nephew, of course. I’m excited for snow and family and presents and parties too. But I’m newly excited to soak in every day of the wait. Mike and I went to get our flu and whooping-cough vaccinations this weekend, to prepare for hanging out with the baby, and I LOVED IT. It hurt, it cost money, and it was sore for three days, and I was practically crying with happiness over all of it. I kind of want to get more baby shots now. I’m enjoying the anticipation of the right ideas for my book to further wash over me, and I’m in no hurry for them to do so before they’re ready.
So Happy Holidays, and all of the days we have to enjoy before they get here. And for that matter, all of the days after that.