Project 366 / 336 — December, Christmas and expectations

Tis the season to be jolly, that’s for sure. When crackling fires, warm mulled wine, Christmas songs, roast chestnuts, thick jumpers, frosty walks and hearty food are aplenty. I’ve often spoken about how downtime is much more enjoyable if you’ve put in the work and this time of year is no exception.

If you’ve worked long hours, grafted, hustled and made many sacrifices throughout the year then you can perhaps begin to look forward to a bit of downtime and relax for a few days. Of course many of us can’t really take our proverbial foot off the gas for long. Overheads stay the same, bills still need paying and the pressure remains.

Christmas is a funny time though; happiness is mandatory, gratitude is expected and if you’re not constantly and instantly in the Christmas spirit then you’re a misog. We buy more food and titbits than we could ever consume, we overindulge and binge on alcohol, chocolate and every rich, full fat and cholesterol spiking nourishment we can lay our hands on.

And then what? The new year dawns and we flip 180 and go overboard in a dryathon, in a no-alcohol, clean diet, new-year-new-you, gym-signing, holier-than-thou pursuit of de-toxification and healthier lifestyle.

It makes me laugh, not for any other reason but that I’m pretty much describing myself. I’m my own worst enemy; relentlessly pursuing business success, striving, hustling, sacrificing, training and clean eating which is then swiftly rewarded by excessive consumption of alcohol and fast food. As I write this I’m considering a year off alcohol and a dive back into physical training. But that’s easy to say and difficult to do.

But until then it’s December; my wife is in the process of putting up the Christmas decorations which will be swiftly followed by putting up the Christmas tree. It’s something which she is very good at — she has a natural flair for interior design and has great taste so our tree is always the centrepiece of our home at Christmas. But of course I’ll get it out the cellar, fan all the branches out, erect the tree, sort the lights and then unpack and arrange all the decorations. That’s my job. I’ll then be allowed to hand her each set of decorations on demand for her to place on the tree (I’m not allowed to touch the tree for fear of placement errors).

The house will look beautiful, glowing and warm. The fire will be lit and for just a fleeting moment all will be calm in the house.

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