It’s a bit of a weird time of year, this. Christmas is over and yet the tree still stands in the corner of the room, a constant remind of yet another task that’ll need to be taken care of.
Our house looks like a bomb site. As if Santa strode in, emptied his sack onto the coffee table and then buggered off. It’s all lovely, on Christmas day, opening up all the presents you’ve been lucky enough to receive, but in our house they kind of just sit around waiting for a home. We’ve such a small place here so trying to find a home for everything just kind of builds on the anxiety.
Having said that, it has been a lovely holiday for me. We spent the day with the family, the kids all excited about the gifts they’ve received, the adults all excited about the alcohol they were consuming. Boxing day all the friends got together for yet more food and alcohol, as if we hadn’t consumed enough the day before. Then there’s that weird week between Christmas and New Years where you really can’t be arsed to do anything, let alone cook, and spend most of the time having crappy fast food, just adding to the already over-full garbage bin, full because inevitably bin day arrives on one of the public holidays.
Then there’s the New Year. For me it means another year older. Thirty-four years old. I literally feel middle-aged. Spoilt rotten, I was. Mr Thomas bought me the prettiest pair of earrings, featuring my favourite colour and favourite gem; the sapphire.
But like the old bastards that we are, Mr Thomas and I didn’t do anything for New Years Eve. We’d already had a night out in the city a few days before to celebrate my birthday, staying at the hotel where we had our wedding reception. So we stayed home, falling asleep on the couch and being woken up intermittently by those in the neighbourhood who couldn’t wait for midnight to let off their illegal fireworks.
It was a hot day yesterday (as always is on my birthday) so when midnight came, we poured the champagne and went out onto the street in our underwear to watch the fireworks around Adelaide.
In a relaxing start to the new year, we woke up very late, Mr Thomas made the coffees, and we got in the car and took the scenic route to Angaston, on the border of the Barossa Valley. We walked the slightly eerie path next to what turned out to be a stagnant and smelly creek, and enjoyed the views of the gnarly old trees in the local park.
I face the beginning of the year, for the first time in my life, not knowing what is to come. My time as an unemployed writer is coming to an end, and I’ll have to join the real world again and get a job. I don’t know what job, all I know is that it won’t be a career. I will do something semi-enjoyable, without the stresses of clients, deadlines and targets and all that bullshit. I want something where I can come home at night, put the worries of my work behind me and write with a free, clear mind.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt from my time away from work, secluded in my writing world, it’s that life is too short. My mental health is too important. Life is for living and enjoying what you do and who you’re lucky enough to spent your life with. And so I will.