The weirdest week of the year

December 28, 2021

To me, the week in between Christmas and New Year’s has always felt out of place. Most of the world is on vacation, some are working-not-working, and others are working harder than ever to tie up loose ends of tasks that need to be accomplished before the end of the year. It’s a Twilight Zone of sorts where we all kind of float in our own amoebas. It’s the season of “Let’s connect after the New Year”, self-reflection, and vowing to become the newest and most improved best version of ourselves starting on the arbitrary date of January 1st.

Aside from the fact I can’t stand cold weather, this particular week has always felt magical to me. I love cozily nesting inside watching movies and really not getting much accomplished at all. I think we could all use more quiet weeks like this throughout the year. People are so caught up in the rhetoric of daily living, it’s important to pause, reflect, and reset the internal compass of our values, intentions, and manifestations.

Growing up in Connecticut, where it snows, this time of the year was always marked by making snow angels, sledding, and finding the right size pebbles to use as buttons on snowmen. I couldn’t fathom how any kid could experience a December without snow. Mutiny against the very winter season! Even more inconceivable—what about those who lived in the Southern Hemisphere where the holidays were during the summer?!

Christmas Day, in particular, was always extra weird. In a world that doesn’t know when to turn off its neon lights, where bars stay open way past midnight, and some drugstores never close, for once, there is peace. And it’s not because of a power outage—although maybe it is if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow.

Since my dad is Chinese, Christmas Day for us usually meant making the drive from Fairfield County to Flushing, Queens, where my dad grew up and his parents and brother still lived. We’d eat dim sum at a large round table at an uncomfortably crowded restaurant on Main Street which was probably one of the only streets in all of New York City that was as busy as ever. “Don’t Chinese people know when to stay home?” I’d always think. But it was tradition and I was a kid, so even though my parents weren’t keen on it either—especially my dad who would often be the one privileged with driving us all and having to find a place to park—I didn’t have much of a say in the matter. After dim sum, we’d go home to my grandmother’s house and watch mindless TV. I usually brought a YA book with me—something from Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice series or by Sarah Dessen—and would shut myself up in my aunt’s childhood bedroom on the second floor for a few hours until my mom would softly knock on the door telling me it was time to go home.

When I was 13 years old, my dad got a job transfer to San Francisco, we moved to the Bay Area, and I became that kid that lived in an area where it rebelliously didn’t snow during “White Christmas” season. At that point, I didn’t care much—I was just happy to have two glorious weeks off from school. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, my mom and I would take the BART train from our sleepy suburban city to San Francisco. We’d sometimes do damage shopping stores’ after-Christmas sales, get lunch at some cute cafe downtown, then go tea tasting at a small tea shop in Chinatown called Blest Tea that’s since closed.

More than a decade later, and once again, I find myself in the weirdest week of the year. Floating in The Twilight Zone between a year past and a year approaching. So much has happened this past year: I’m living in a new city now, I’m well into my Lyme disease treatment, and we’re approaching Year Two of a global pandemic. I won’t get too deep into reflecting on 2021 and talking about my 2022 intentions as I plan on making a blog post dedicated to that soon.

I hope you’re taking this time to pause, reflect, practice gratitude, and do whatever else you need to do to refill your cup before the world starts moving again.

With love and grace,

Micaela

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