My “new year” comes at the end of autumn, as the trees—at the height of their high def beauty—drop their leaves and turn inward, surrendering to the growing darkness with a faith and grace I rarely muster. I reflected on my year back in October; I liked what I had reaped and sown, and am proceeding ahead with a commitment to a compassionate optimism. In my inner spiritual calendar, it’s almost Imbolc (Candlemas), the “spring’s spring,” and Jan 1 is just an ordinary day.
Yet, the lovely afternoon snowfall carries well wishes and personal reflections across the Land of Screens—many, lovely, all different kinds, and I search myself for an honest sentiment to share with my loved ones.
All I can come up with, if I’m being honest, is gratitude for the passing of the madness (a.k.a. December).
My experiential way of being in December is one of enormous discomfort. Everything I hold sacred is mocked, and everything I mock is held sacred. (I know, spiritual people are not supposed to have mocking inner voices with political and religious opinions… I’m both working on changing it, and working on accepting it).
Mass consumerism, mass consumption, the dominance of one religion over all others, the end of the college semester with grades and grade appeals, my clients as they prepare for time-travel back into their childhood roles, (regardless of their current age), my family system and all that it activates (regardless of MY current age) and… wait, there’s more!
…shopping for gifts, attending parties, throwing parties, boarding puppies, eating crap, inconsistent sleep, and nothing resembling a routine… December is by far the most uncomfortable month of my year. And for most of it, the soundtrack is one of Christian Christmas carols I don’t agree with but can’t stop singing along with. Can you say Christmas Cognitive Dissonance?
So I’m really glad it’s over.
Of more interest to me today is the ritual of the Knights of the Round Table, I mean, college football playoffs. It seems so ancient, the rooting for one’s warriors, the pride of belonging somewhere… Ohio State in the national championship is a gazillion times better to celebrate than anything December has going, and I’m a Wolverine saying this. December is worse than being a Wolverine rooting for the Buckeyes.
Yup… this is me—glad it’s over.
I have an older blog piece called “Happy Whew Year” that expresses many of the same ideas, and that’s the only sentiment I can come up with to share: Whew, it’s over. Now let’s get down to the business of living consciously and compassionately. The world needs our help.
— Betz King
Today’s guest contributor, Betz King—Master’s program coordinator at The Michigan School of Professional Psychology—is an existential psychologist and Kabbalistic-Pagan-Not-Otherwise-Specified.
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NOTE: A version of this post ran previous at www.betzking.com/blog.