This has long been one of my favorite weeks of the year – I’m off work, the stress of Christmas is behind me, and I have no real obligations to do much of anything beyond maybe catching up with any friends who happen to be visiting from out of town.
But this year, even though I’m enjoying sleeping late, living in my pajamas, reading, and baking, I’m pretty melancholy.
The first Christmas without my mom was just about as hard as I thought it would be, and while last year, I was extremely excited about vaccines and hopeful for a COVID-free future, I’m now vaxxed, boosted, still masking everywhere I go – and resigned to the fact that I’m almost certainly going to get it anyway.
Tests are in such high demand that my entire family had to drive to the Northshore to even be able to get a rapid test and ensure we had the all-clear before visiting with my in-laws for Christmas, and we’ll probably be doing it again later this week to make sure that we don’t bring anything from our (minimal!) holiday socializing back to our respective schools.
And that’s if the schools open on time … Tulane has already pushed the start of its semester back, and I have no idea if other schools will follow suit.
Between grief and the fact that I no longer see an end in sight for the pandemic, everything feels pretty bleak.
But! The solstice has come and gone, the days are getting longer again, and a new year is on the horizon.
I don’t have high hopes for 2022, to be sure, but I’m marching into it anyway – weary, sad, and double-masked, but still going.
Happy new year, everyone. May this year be brighter in all ways.