Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Top Ten Worst Things about Starting a New Year

The 10 worst things about starting a new year....

10) You have to go places that require pants.  For the last week and a half, lycra/spandex/cotton blends have been your constant companion from the waist down, at least.  Whether you were napping on the couch, napping in the chair, napping in the recliner, or being extra productive and walking to the mailbox, your stretchy pants were there for you.  No buttons.  No zippers.  No judgment.  Just you and the God-inspired invention of elastic.  Your relationship had really grown over the last couple of weeks.  The two of you had become one and it was hard to leave them all alone lying on your bed when you left for work.  You'll think about them all day and rush back home to their comforting embrace just as soon as you leave the office .    

9)  Fire Drills at 6 am.  For the last 10 days, the subtle nudge of the mid-morning sun has been your only wake up call.  Now, this strange, obnoxious buzzer is blaring in the darkness and you become only semi-conscious and addled.  In Christmas Vacation Time (CVT), 6:00 am is considered still the middle of the night.  While making the difficult time change back to Reality Standard Time (RST), this ominous, relentless sound may confuse disoriented and unregimented souls for the first few days, causing them to activate their family fire evacuation plan and all meet up in the front yard. 

8)  You're at work and get a sudden nagging feeling that you're missing a bowl game.  When one watches football all day long for 2 solid weeks, it is difficult to suddenly snap back to normal life activities.  This is why, for the first week back at work, you may suddenly get a panicky feeling that you could be missing a bowl game while standing at the copier or the fax machine the lesser known Philip's Milk of Magnesia Bowl or the rarely heralded Bath and Body Works Bowl.  With time, this anxiety should subside as you adjust to the college football-less time of year. 

7)  You are forced to hear about everyone's new diet plan at work.    Suzy is detoxing and she is as grumpy as a grizzly bear.  Grapefruits all day for Barbara.  Bob's Slim Fast shakes are taking up the whole break room frig.  Fran is frantically counting her points.  No carbs for Jim....only beef and bacon.  And you'll be getting regular updates on how long Joan's new Yeti tumbler is keeping the ice in her 750 oz. daily intake of water.  Take heart mid-February, everyone will be back to ordering Italian takeout with you and the frig will, once again, be stocked with Mountain Dew, pudding cups, and queso dip. 
6)  You miss the UPS man.  You never knew of your affinity for a man in uniform until one started visiting your porch in his starched brown ensemble every day for 2 months straight.  For the first couple of weeks in January, you may find yourself running to the door at the sound of a diesel engine coming down your street only to discover that it is just the school bus.  While you can't deny that you like children, you'd rather see Etsy packages on your porch any day.   

5)  You're reintroduced to the forgotten meal, breakfast.  You can't remember the last time you had a breakfast bar or Cheerios.  Probably because ever since Christmas, you've gotten up at that awkward time of day when you're not really sure what would be appropriate to eat.  The term "breakfast" is really no longer in play when the sun is up that high.  Now that you're back to getting up in the middle of the night (Christmas Vacation Time) you'll need to throw some Nutri-Grain bars and Honey Bunches of Oats in the shopping cart and embrace the long overlooked meal. 

4)  Your house looks bare.   After the decorations come down, the house takes on a eerie feeling of emptiness.  This may cause the woman of the house to ask, "Honey, are you sure you got everything back down from the attic?"  No one quite understands this phenomenon.  Perhaps, it's just that after Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, their flock of sheep, a trio of kings, their camels, the angels, some cows, a donkey, a heap of mistletoe, a fat, bearded man in a red suit, his reindeer, a 9 foot live fir tree, 55 large wrapped boxes, and a partridge in a pear tree stay with you for a whole month, the house is sure to feel a little more roomy when they're all gone.  Only baby Jesus is welcomed to stay all year.   

3)  You find stray pine needles in random places.  After all the decorations have been packed away, Christmas tree needles will show up in the most unusual places until around Labor Day or so.  The bottom of your cereal bowl.  The toe of your sock.  The bottom of the bathtub.  In the bristles of your hairbrush.  On the dog's back.  It is Christmas' way of saying, "I had a great time and I'll be back." 

2)  At 1:00 pm each day, you find yourself staring blankly at your computer screen.  Your head bobbing like the old man in front of you at church when the sermon runs long.  It's been a couple of weeks since you had to make it all the way through the day without a nap.  This is like the beginning of first grade all over again when they abruptly revoked your KinderMat and gave you a fist full of worksheets in its place.  And just like back then, you're thinking, "Well, dang." 

1)  Your friends all want to challenge you on Fitbit.  We all feel that some accountability will help us reach our new fitness resolutions.  The new year beckons the triathlete inside us to emerge and the Fitbit app awakens the competitor in all of us.  So, when it sends you a message at 10:25 pm that your friend has met her step goal and you haven't, well, you'll get yourself right up out of that chair and start walking in a zig-zag pattern up and down the driveway until your Fitbit vibrates, too.  I don't care if it's 11:00 pm, 30 degrees, sleeting, and the neighbors are wondering why you're pacing up and down your driveway like Rain Man.  You will not be outdone.  

I hope this week of adjustment hasn't been too painful.

These things just take time.



  1. Joni, I think we may be soul sisters. It's as though you live in my brain and know exactly how I'm feeling on any given day! Especially in these days right after Christmas break... I'm so ready to be readjusted again; this has felt like the longest week of my life! It's not even 9:00 a.m. and I'm ready to climb back into back for a long winter's nap (even after two cups of coffee!). You'd think schools and employers would be a little more sympathetic towards us during this painful transition from CVT back to RST.

    1. Ain't it the truth, Amanda!! We should only have to go 1/2 days the first week. The second week, we should get off 2 hours early and then resume normal schedules on the third know, when our bodies have adjusted. When you and I rule the world, this will be our first decree.

  2. Love your countdown, especially CVT. Is it sad when you have several pairs of pants and you wear only the two that stretches a bit around the waist? Kathleen in Az

    1. The older I get, the more I adore things that stretch. :)

  3. That Bath and Body Works Bowl should totally be a thing.

    1. I'm thinking so, too! And all the players would receive Bath and Body Works gift baskets and gift cards and they'd all be beside themselves with excitement. They'd have scented candles and scented wall plug-ins everywhere and it would smell like lilacs, warm vanilla, and green apples in the stadium. The bathrooms would be stocked with aromatic foaming soaps and room sprays. It would be a lovely experience for all. :)