It’s a trope as old as holiday decorations themselves. We all know the house (or plural) where the Christmas decorations remain until it’s warm and light enough to go out and take them down. The same thing happens inside our house, on a smaller scale. Bits of the holiday—whether it be Christmas cards on the mantle, or the not quite spent candles from the Yule log—remain, while we reluctantly reenter BAU (business as usual). It’s a process best taken slowly. I suspect many of us find AU (as usual) to be not really ideal. Too many bills, too much Covid, too much of a demand made on that non-renewable resource, time. I know people happy to see the holidays go, but I’m already counting the days until they come again.
January, whose end is fast approaching, is a waiting time. Waiting to recover from perhaps a little bit too much holiday spending. Waiting for a bit more light and warmth. Waiting for that package to arrive. Waiting for the plumber to call back. Waiting for, well, business as usual. I read about holidays quite a lot. They wouldn’t be special if they happened all the time, of course. And we need the supply chain that demands steady production of goods and services from those not actually chained to a desk all day. Still, I can imagine a different world. One in which there is time to get the non-work stuff done as well as filling obligations to capitalism, pouring out our libation to the emperor. Many analysts are suggesting technology has increased efficiency to the point that a four-day work week is optimal. Who’s going to pay the same for less, however?
Time is a commodity. I’ve got a lot of projects outside work that I really want to finish. Some of them, like that junk car in my step-dad’s yard, could turn a profit if only I had the time to spend on them. Meanwhile there’s work to be done. Long days in front of the computer knowing there’s something more exciting after it’s all over. When work’s done I’m too tired to get much accomplished. It’s like the endless lapping of the waves on the sea shore. Unchanging. Persistent. Aware there’s always a coming storm. So I’m sitting here with Tom Petty, waiting. Even if we don’t know what comes next. Let’s call it a holiday.