Perhaps it was a bit melodramatic to say that I feel like I am being challenged to simply survive this month. I've tied too much importance to December this year, but December 2009 scared me. I don't want to be in that place again, so I've made this the test, as if it will determine what every December here on out will be like.
But as I stumbled through draft after draft of a post last night that never came together, I realized that I'm not waiting for the month to test me. I'm stepping in and trying to reclaim it. I want to be able to listen to Christmas carols and put up a tree and host birthday parties and wrap gifts and bake cookies. And I want to enjoy all these things, not just go through the motions.
I want the 11th and the 15th and the 25th to hold their own against the 17th.
I want joy and peace. I want light in my darkness.
So I came into this month ready to battle my December demons. I came in armed with space carved out by turning down quick turnaround jobs and postponing pediatrician appointments and getting much of shopping done early. I carried a plan for simple birthdays and marched in with December 17th left purposefully empty on the calendar. I have candles to light and chocolate to eat and red wine to drink. I am moving forward planning birthday cakes and thinking about little hands plunging into Christmas stockings and the nip of a Christmas morning hike. I am enjoying the preparations, my crafting and shopping and figuring out where to put the tree. I don't quite trust this month still, but I'm trying to take it back and hold the peace and joy and light while knowing the time will come to sit with the darkness.