What would usually be my most favorite time of the year wound up being....well, rough. Oh, I spent some much needed, and very cherished, time with John's family and my newly-realized chosen family of close friends here in SC, but what I thought would be an easier holiday to go through alone, given that John nearly abhorred Christmas, was an emotional wreck for me. Everything made me cry. His birthday, December 19th, was the absolute worst day for me in a while. I began the day shopping for an adopted family we'd chosen at work who desperately needed help with Christmas gifts, and that part was good; I felt like I was doing something good. From there it went down hill with the amount of time I spent crying, the torrential headache that resulted from aforementioned crying, and the realization that while I see almost daily that he's still watching over me and remains in my life in a very strong way, John's not coming back.
Amy, meet the big pill you need to swallow. Big pill, Amy.
So when I went into work this past weekend, it was with baited breath and a mental countdown of the final hours of the Worst Year That Has Ever Happened To Me, when a new leaf could be turned. I didn't even pack my lunch to take to work. I had enough baggage already. And when 12:01 a.m. struck, I saluted 2011 very properly (given that I couldn't take a swig of some hard liquor): I flipped it off and finally got to tell '11 to kiss my ass. If I'd been savvy enough, I would've taken my very worn cassette tape of Europe's '80s epic hit, The Final Countdown, in with me and blasted it from whatever player I could find in the hospital. I'm sure there is a more apropos song that I could've come up with, but trust me, Europe's epic hit (hey, it was epic to me way back when) was racing through my head. I love mental soundtracks.
So, yeah, 2011...it's over. I've always tried to look to each new year on a positive note, but this one was different. It was like at least 8 pounds being lifted off of my shoulders. There's still about 92 left sitting there, but progress! Even while I was waiting for 2012 to arrive, it was glaringly obvious to me that '11 was the final year that I'd known my husband, the last one we spent together even if it was only for half of it. There's always two sides to every coin, and this one I'm going to have to continue fiddling with. Everyone's got issues, this is mine.
On a brighter note, I've been reading. Alot. I've not thinned out the TBR in great strides, but I've made some dents that I just haven't talked about. I even read a handful of Christmas-themed historical romances and apologize to the library patron that was in line for delaying her hold on Victoria Alexander's His Mistress By Christmas. I turned it in a day late and that was after having it over the two-week lending time because I'd gotten ahold of it just two weeks before Christmas, and with the library being closed for the holiday weekend, I had a couple freebie days tacked on due to their closure (I love long, complex sentences too). Trust me, the library loves me some days.
Now that I've gotten all that off of my chest, I'm going back to the Gator Bowl and some couch-time before I hit Wal-Mart to get my requisite collard greens and black-eyed peas. Even if Ohio State has their collective asses handed to them by the damned Gators, it's gonna be a good day, Tater.