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Holiday Decompression

Andy Warhol

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we’ve started to decompress from the holidays. The day after Christmas started the recycling effort. Bags, wrapping paper and boxes were readied for Friday’s pickup. Gifts that didn’t quite fit or work, including one I’d previously given this year’s giver, were put in a bag for Paul’s Place.

Although our desks are still piled with papers, as is a card table used for wrapping, movement is underway. The card table will be down before New Year’s. Already, the work table in our front hall used by husband to assemble his calendars is down. People coming into the house this holiday had a chuckle out of that table, but the room is light-filled and spacious, perfect for assembling calendars and packages.

Our walks, less dictated by schedules and to-do lists this week, grew longer and more frequent. We looped St. Mary’s Seminary and the Gilman track.  We took an extra walk late in the afternoon. One afternoon I actually lay on the bed and read, something I rarely do, but “post-holidaze” demands it.

On Thursday we seized the moment and took the MARC train to Washington to meet my husband’s cousin and his wife there visiting children and grandchildren.  We took an early train so we could browse the East Wing of the National Gallery. Hardly anyone, except another couple we knew from Baltimore, was there. Looking at colorful paintings by Andy Warhol, Mel Bochner, Matisse, Derain and French and American Impressionists brought reverie, unwinding and gradual relaxation.  What a great antidote to holiday festivities looking at art is.

I know I’m relaxing when I feel as if a sledgehammer has hit me. By the time we walked back to Union Station, I envisioned a nap on the ride home, and it happened.

I went for a play date with our young great-nephew on Friday. He’s one of my most fun and generous friends. He’s also an intellectually curious and keen-humored conversationalist who likes to build, read books, play games and move around. By the time his parents returned from a brief dinner-date, I felt not drained but energized.

The New Year’s Eve task at hand, before celebrations begin, is to clear and take down the wrapping card table. I could add the sorting of papers on my business desk, but that’s too ambitious. January will include that, and other surfaces that need clearing, as we unwind from the holiday and happily resume the daily routine.     

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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