Tuesday, December 21, 2004

As Time Slows Down

As we head into these last few days before Christmas, it's always felt to me as if time slows down. I don't know exactly when I notice it kicking in, but somewhere around the 20th or 21st I usually can feel time slowing down.

When I was a kid, of course, school would let out for Christmas break several days before Christmas. And we would head into that glorious stretch of two weeks or so when there was no schedule, no hassle, no timeframe, and nothing that had to be done.

I managed to stay in one academic setting or another up into my mid 30s, so this phenomenon of end-of-semester and shifting gears became very, very familiar to me. Even when I was living down in North Carolina, and due to the poverty of student life I usually spent my Christmases 1100 miles from family, I would feel myself, several days before Christmas, entering into that end-of-year slowdown. I remember one year down there in Durham, heading out to a store and, on my painfully limited student budget, buying myself a gyroscope and a deck of Rook cards. It was around December 20 or 21. And I spent those few days before Christmas watching that gyroscope gyro around on the wooden living room floor of my apartment, and playing all the hands at once in various card games with those Rook cards.

One odd thought which came to me somewhere along the line is that these several days before Christmas "felt" to me like those five odd days at the end of the Mayan calendar, the five days that didn't fit into any of the Mayan months. Or was it a short five-day month? No doubt a nitpicker could find fault with this comparison, but then again in my experience, nitpickers and naysayers are generally a pretty sorry lot.

Let's see, shortest day of the year... that's either today, or thereabouts. Winter solstice? Let me go look it up in my almanac. If I don't forget. All I know is, it's been getting dark mighty early lately.

I'm hoping my schedule will slow down some over these next few days. Last week was the busiest week I've had since the fall season began, and it was capped by my weekend misadventure with the Aquamobile conking out on me up in La Crosse. (Now fixed, it was the alternator.) I'm hoping this week to find some time to just sit around, watch Cowboy Bebop (one of my recent DVD purchases), stretch out on the couch with a cup or ten of hot apple cider, and slide slow and lazy into this home stretch right before Christmas.


Blogger Chris Reid said...

Maybe that's because the 21st is the longest day of the year?

Thursday, December 23, 2004 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Reid said...

Replace "day" with "night", of course. Sigh.

Thursday, December 23, 2004 10:28:00 AM  

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