Sometimes I miss being 7. I think that was the perfect age. Old enough to "do stuff" and have some independence, but young enough to not really have a clue of what's going on in life.
Christmas is a perfect example of that. Young enough to enjoy the season with no real concept of the realities of paychecks, bills, family troubles, or world situations.
As we get older, reality creeps in. There begins the dance between reality and seasonal merriment. Some years seasonal merriment wins, and then the reality of January hits hard. Other years reality overtakes the season and Christmas is survived rather than enjoyed. The ideal is the year in which the dance is worked out perfectly.
This year I'm tilted a little more toward reality as I see our children rocketing into adulthood and leaving the nest, the political unrest of our country, and an aging body that reminds me that I most likely have more years behind me than in front of me. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the season so far (we've managed a record number of Christmas movies viewed this year), but there's a slight weight in the back of my mind and heart that I can't quite shake.
But, I've got a week to get it back in balance - and I truly believe I can now that I've identified what's going on. Sometimes that's all it takes - identify what's going on, acknowledge it, and then move on.
I feel better already.