december

21 days left in 2020. Everyone talks about New Year resolutions, but what about end of year resolutions. And what about all those other sentiments such as “its not the destination but the journey” or “its not how you avoid conflict, it’s how you face it.” Well, 2020 is just about finished- how will it end for you? Will you start to make changes now or wait for something else to change you?

I for one would like to own this month. It’s a challenge for sure. December in general can be hectic and overwhelming for me and anyone who deals with holidays and birthdays all lumped into one month. End of year stuff piles on and stress is high. Now add COVID in an election year. Are we exhausted yet?

This is the last stretch. I’m not going to win. I know that. Nothing great is going to happen this month. I’ll be spending very little on gifts this year out of necessity, donating much less than normal, and probably eating more than I should to make up for my disappointments. I know it’s going to be a tough season this year and no amount of eggnog or twinkly lights will help. But I’m gonna keep going and keep trying.

I’ve had some really bad Decembers in the past including four years ago when my ceiling started leaking starting a 4year problem. In fact, I’ve had so many depressing Christmases I’ve written multiple poems to the beat of T’was the Night before Christmas just to describe my misery. To laugh at it, to not forget it, to document how I survived and moved on. Isn’t that really what most of our holidays are actually about anyway? Hope and survival.

Christmas is about a hope and a promise during a time when infants were being killed, taxes were raised, and the government was overpowering. Hanukkah is about keeping faith and hope after a time of massacre and rebellion. Even Kwanza, a fairly new celebration based upon a much older First Fruits Festival came about to help bring a stronger sense of unity and community to African Americans who suffered oppression and worse throughout the entire history of our country. So many traditions of celebrating survival and moving forward exist.

As 2020 comes to an end, I’m going to try to own it. I can’t blame all of my disappointments and failings on 2020, and I can’t wait for 2021 to start chasing and changing what I can. Maybe that’ll be absolutely nothing and I’ll fail once again and that’s ok. In reality, and compared to the reasons our December holidays exist, things are not that terrible.

You may celebrate the 7 days of Kwanza, or 8 days of Hanukkah, or the 12 days of Christmas or just the 1 day of Winter Solstice, but you’ve also 21 days left of 2020 – how will you celebrate?

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