New Year – Sort of

October always feels like the most transitional month to me, way more so than January. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself superstitious — give me a haunted clown motel next to a graveyard and if it’s less than $50 a night and doesn’t have bed bugs, I’m in. I wouldn’t really consider myself pagan either, though nature-based rituals certainly appeal to me more than patriarchal judgments. Still, the changes in air, humidity, and daylight definitely have a “thinner veil” feel, so I just embrace the terms of the season and go with it.

Besides, while I lean toward science, my empathish self (more fuzzy science) has trouble parsing mood and feelings into stark, clinical, scientific terminology.

Something about October 31st feels like the end of something — summer, light, warmth (though in Florida that’s more mental than actual). And it feels vaguely threatening, not from the ghouls and goblins, but from the impending winter and holiday seasons. That morning when the ravens and skulls have all been replaced by Santas and elves feels like a prison sentence that lasts the champagne’s gone in January.

Some people have fond memories of Christmas and… it’s not that I don’t so much as every year the holiday becomes more commercialized in the public sphere and every year I want to step back more form that hype. I prefer simpler celebrations with food, walks or bike rides, hanging out with friends or family, and exchanging one or maybe two small tokens of affection and friendship, but the occasion focusing more on fellowship than “stuff.” It seems, though, much of my family and extended family has become more and more obsessed with the “stuff” aspect and I just end up feeling guilty. Guilty for receiving things I can’t use or don’t need, guilty for all the plastic garbage generated by the shopping and gifting process, guilty about not being able to/wanting to reciprocate the lavish gifts.

The election has me anxious. The hate mongering has me nervous. The anger toward and mistrust of women is demoralizing.

And winter is coming.