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I always feel as though the ending of one year and the beginning of another has something of a sleep in between. Or not a sleep, maybe a period of awakening, as if on a long hike you stumble across a town in the middle of a festival. Because December and January are not typical months. They’re moving months. Set up and take down. Something given, something returned. Obviously with the holidays in December, mayhem ensues. The kids believe in magic, the house turns sparkly and warm with an overcrowding of lights and decorations and people come to your door to deliver things, to drink with you, to eat delicious things that you don’t normally make but, because some odd domesticity has come over you, you have.

Then January hits. The house turns bare, the year changes number and you write it wrong again and again before it finally sinks in. My children were both born in early January so we go into what I refer to as “birthday season” and we have special things and “real” birthdays and “party days” and things get wrapped and unwrapped seemingly daily for a while. The new years, both calendar and personal, are a lot of work and it occurs to you that the corner that you’ve turned from one year to the next was much more enticing back in December when you couldn’t quite see around the curve. In reality, turning new leaves is backbreaking stuff.

In any case all the numbers have notched themselves up and I find myself in the eye of a three-day weekend. In the back of my mind I am missing old friends, but it’s not sad. I will call them today. I have many lovely memories of them from this day in the past. Football games and trays of chicken wings and long walks along the cold ocean. Back then, we were getting married, getting pregnant, carting small babies and thinking about big things. They were always good friends for mulling over big things.

While I miss my friends and our winter getaway and I am sorry to see a happy tradition turn dormant, I believe they are well and will have to settle for just thinking of them and remembering. There is less room in this part of life than there used to be.

I believe that this will be the theme of 2010. There is less room than there used to be. New things have to elbow their way in with some force. Nevertheless, I have some new things coming along.

You can always find a little more room, really.