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December - the month for impersonating a tree?

When December started I was riding a wave of perceived accomplishment. And I imagined / assumed it would continue to flow. I had huge plans for the month. I was going to put the 40,000 words I managed for NaNoWriMo on the back burner for the month and write the first draft of a second, unrelated, novel.

But something drowned my plans (ok, done with the water metaphor, I swear).

It's happened the last few years, and it has been getting worse, but somehow the pattern escaped me. It's not the depression I'm familiar with - the one that arrives for no reason, at no particular time, and leaves only when the drugs drag it out the door kicking and screaming. It's not a weather-related case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). First of all, I live in Arizona, our weather is only slightly more existent than my native California. We have only: lightweight sweater weather, 3 days of pleasant perfection, hot, hotter, and 'the armpit of hell' hot. Those of us who aren't native get our Starbuck's pumpkin spice in the icey frappuccino variety because we're still running our air conditioning in November. Second of all, I'm the pasty-skinned beach-hating girl whose favorite seasons (in locales which have them) have always been Autumn and Winter. I love grey, overcast, rainy weather. I love snow, unless I have to go out in it. But the bottom line is, if I were to suffer from SAD, it'd be in summer when all I want is a cool cave in which to hibernate.

But over the course of the recent past, I've been doing what I lovingly refer to as 'collapsing in a heap' every December. It seems to start around Thanksgiving, and starts to fade almost immediately after Christmas. At first I blamed it on perpetual holiday poverty. Then I thought it must be coming down from the adrenaline which governs FINALS season. And I think those probably are factors. As are the compulsory reevaluation funks we all tend to feel around our birthdays and the end of the year (which are 10 days apart for me). And this year, I had the added excuse of running myself extra ragged by doing NaNoWriMo. But I'm not convinced what part, if any, of that contributes to the collapse.

All I do know is that I do see the pattern finally, and I will try to plan to withdraw and regroup next year at this time. After all, what exactly is wrong with taking a month where you sleep more, watch tv too much, eat too much, watch movies and read FOR FUN Instead of assignments, ponder your past/present/future, and come out of it feeling more in tune with yourself, and interested in going forward? What's wrong with taking a month to act like a tree? Letting go of all your outside trappings and pulling inside to do the quiet persevering hustle of survival at your core?

Now to go kick ass in 2018 :-)

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