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Sinclaire Sparkman: Somewhere in between Christmas and New Year

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Dec 29, 2017 at 1:00 PM

The time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a strange time, a quiet time of wondering what in the world to do until the world starts back up again on Jan. 2. 

The big day has come and gone, the leftover Christmas ham is more than enough to eat for a week and the gift of socks so hated as a child is a welcome addition to help ward off the encroaching cold. Television plays mostly reruns as regular seasons have paused or ended. 

Lights still hang from streetlights and rooftops and the tree so meticulously decorated and enjoyed must now be destroyed to make room for the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration. As celebration of winter’s beginning passes, we often long for the warm that has now certainly left us for the next couple of months. 

In the between week we wait. The world seems to take a breath as it reflects on what has come and readies for whatever it is that comes next. There is no homework to get done, no papers to grade, work seems to operate at the bare minimum and the atmosphere around town seems sleepy and dreamy. 

Who can blame us after the harrowing holiday marathon that just ended? We’re exhausted, and this week is a chance to recover from all the fruitcake and family encounters. Holiday crowds, shopping, travel, keeping up that Christmas cheer, financial distress and the big meal mess can really start to weigh on a person. No wonder the world slows down after that holly jolly roller coaster ride finally pumps the brakes. 

After catching the stomach flu on Christmas Day this year, the between week for me has been steeped in lethargy and general wanting to huddle under the covers to get away from the sudden drop in temperatures. Winter is definitely here, and it definitely made a grand entrance.  

Despite being uneasy and queasy since Monday, I had a chance to do what many others do during the between week, reflect on changes for the coming year. I realized though my New Year’s resolutions are quite the same as they were last year; I did make plenty of progress on them. Perhaps a year is not long enough to fully complete the process begun with a shaky promise to self at the start of the year, and it’s OK to fail a time or two as long as you keep trying. 

It takes more than just deciding a new years resolution to accomplish a change in yourself. You have to be determined, and not just because you’ve changed your calendar. You have to want it enough to try again even after you fail. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to eat that donut, overspend that budget or take one day off the treadmill, as long as you pick it back up the next day and keep at it. Just keep trying. The secret to success is perseverance.  

What’s the root of the word resolution? Resolve. Find that, and you’re closer to change than you think.

Looking back over the past year, our Wilson County community has both inspired great accomplishment and suffered much loss. Years like this remind us of how much of a difference one person can make. Years like this remind us of how blessed we are to live among generous and kind people. Years like this teach us how to press on despite bitter loss and still keep being the place to be in Tennessee. 

As a new year dawns, let’s meet every challenge it brings with grace and poise. And remember, there’s that one between week at the end of the year where everything slows down once more. 

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at ssparkman@lebanondemocrat.com.

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