Ah, January, I feel we hardly knew you…

1st – Noisemakers blaring, champagne popping, hangover tickling at the edge of my brain.  Plus the curse of New Year’s resolutions.  What’s not to love?

2nd – A bit of the shine’s worn off, but I’m still determined.  New year, new you.

3rd – Praise Jesus and all the choirs of angels.  After two full weeks of Togetherness, the kids have finally gone back to school.  (If you eat a handful of chips but nobody hears the crunch, did they really get eaten at all?)

4th – The credit card bill arrives reflecting December’s gift giving madness.  Decide Black Friday is a gateway drug to Christmas shopping.

5th – Any stocking candy still in the house becomes public property.  (I may or may not have explicitly stated this rule among the family.  Finders keepers.)

6th – Realize there are zero batteries in the house.  Pray nothing important (like the remote control, or the smoke detectors) die.

7th – One week down.  Point two pounds lost.  Eat Hershey’s bar in despair.

8th – Holy moly rigatoni.  Snow.  We have Snow.  We have capital-S-take-a-look-at-that-we-live-in-North-Carolina-what-is-all-this-white-stuff SNOW.  By noon school is cancelled for Monday.  Today is chili day.

9th – And still there’s snow.  Mostly because it’s eighteen degrees for the high.  Not a drop of melting in sight.  Happy, freezing cold kids everywhere.

10th – Day 3 of snow.  Day 3 of frigid temperatures.  Day 3 of BrightSide patiently toting kids to and from the golf course hill to sled.  Day 3 of me hiding indoors, under blankets, wrapped up in a cocoon of clothing.

11th – And still there was snow.  Temps flirt with the upper thirties, the white stuff hints at melting, but not enough to reopen the schools.  This is beginning to feel like a whole lot of Togetherness.

12th – Temps finally pop into the forties, neighborhood kids boo the plow as it comes through, and the end is in sight.  It’s Day 5, though, and Day 5 is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  I take the kids to lunch with a friend, then to GameStop, then to Target.  Retail therapy for the tween set.

13th – Wrack my brain to remember how far into January it’s acceptable to leave up Christmas decorations.

14th – Realize I don’t really care.

15th – Find myself plagued by the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something.

16th – Realize it’s the Christmas cards I began filling out in the days before we left town.  Search for the pile of cards to return and find them stacked all over our house, singing Christmas greetings in January.

17th – Wonder how long after Christmas it’s appropriate to send someone a card.  Play with the idea of sending May Day cards instead.

18th – Realize it won’t be any easier in May.  Suck it up and take cards with me to the pickup line where I perch my clipboard awkwardly on the steering wheel.  It still takes two weeks to finish and mail them; wrist begins aching shortly after that.

19th – Visit Patty, the woman who magically makes my gray disappear, and almost feel human again.

20th – I’m perched on the precipice of a roller coaster weekend.  Inauguration Day today.  My birthday tomorrow.  Three days until the anniversary of my mom’s death.  I’m lost in a sea of swirling emotions and cry late into the night.

21st – Struggle my way through the morning with puffy eyes then crash by the time I get home.  Sleep for over three hours and bumble around for the rest of the day, fervently hoping that no one sings happy birthday to me.  Wonder if my birthday will suck this much for the rest of my life.

22nd – Wrist pain spiking, heart pain throbbing.  Start marking time to get through tomorrow.

23rd – One year since my mom’s passing.  My friend is right – the days leading up to it are worse than living through the actual day, but I am lost.  Drifting and unable to find my footing.

24th – Climb back onto the hamster wheel ‘cuz life.  Volunteering, doctor’s appointment, basketball practice…life doesn’t stop because you’re sad which, when you think about it, is pretty dang inconsiderate.

25th – What?!  How has it been one whole month since Christmas?  How?!

26th – My body’s in free fall.  We swing from days in the 40s to a high temp of 72.  My sinuses explode.

27th – If Saturday night’s all right for fighting, what does that mean Friday’s for?  Mine is for staring into the weekend, wondering how on earth I’ll get out the other side.

28th – Alarm goes off at 6:45am.  SIX FORTY-FIVE A.M.  On a Saturday.  There oughta be a law.  One basketball game, a Biscuitville run, another ball game, power nap, one kid to the movies while another goes to the skate park, then off to a friend’s for a group sleepover while BrightSide gets quality time with the dogs.  We crash around midnight.

29th – Alarm goes off at 6:30am.  SIX THIRTY A.M.  Sadly, this is not unusual for a Sunday. Sing a song with the Praise Team that gives me actual goosebumps then spend the afternoon with Bear shopping for a father/daughter dance dress.  (When I say “afternoon,” I mean “4.5 hours.”  And when I say “dress,” I mean “dress, athletic pants, shoes, bras, underwear, shower curtain and liner, bath mat, towels, bedding, pillow, and probiotics.”  Plus some intense girl intervention.)

30th – Spend the morning in an appointment and running errands.  Decide leaving the house before it’s at least 45 degrees is no longer a viable option seeing as I’m so old that I feel the cold down to my bones.  Get on my knees and thank all that’s holy for having a place to park in my garage again.

31st – What?!  How can it be the last day of January already?  How?!