It Puts A Great Big Smile on Somebody’s Face

The end of the year gets complicated, I’ve always thought. Not in a bad or difficult way, I hasten to add; while there are bad and difficult memories attached to this time of year — ones that have always been bad since the inciting incident, and ones that have turned bad over time like a fruit left out on the counter — I’m still very much a fan of the holiday season and everything it represents overall. But still. Things get complicated.

It’s a scheduling thing, really. I was in Brazil — or en route, for part of it — for a week, and because of that, I feel like I lost the only quiet time between Thanksgiving and Christmas between the trip and the last-minute scramble of planning for it. Everything else feels so filled with stuff in one way or another that, even though it’s good stuff, can feel overwhelming and exhausting. After all, Christmas is around the corner, then the end of the year. There’s stuff to do, things to prepare. Who can stop when all of this needs to be done…?

(That it’s difficult to be Christmassy in São Paulo figures in, too. Every now and then, I’d see a Christmas tree or some kind of decoration and it would be jarring to remember, oh, yeah, it’s December, isn’t it?)

This feeling is complicated by my belief that this year saw Thanksgiving sneak up unexpectedly when no-one was paying attention, although I know that’s really just how busy my November ended up being by accident; nonetheless, I feel like I got busy with stuff and then, bam, there it was somehow. To be fair, that’s been a lot of 2019 for me. Things seeming to happen when I’ve not been paying attention.

Anyway, we’re in the final couple of weeks of the year already, and this is when things get complicated. Work shifts gears as the daily grind adds Best Of lists and retrospectives and looks ahead; gift-buying and socializing get added to the everyday to-do lists, and the seasonal viewing and listening start to take hold. (Something I wanted to start earlier, but Brazil got in the way, gloriously.) None of this is bad stuff, and I’m not complaining. I’m just jetlagged still, somehow, and mentally scrambling to arrive in the actual moment.

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