The takedown

This morning I took down the Christmas tree and felt just a little better.

I know it's overdue. It's already the 23rd of January and life has eased back into normal times after the frenzy that was the holidays. Then again, we put up the tree late, too. The kids did -- I think, on the second or third week of December. Yes that was how excited I was to celebrate the Christmas season. I just woke up one morning to find the tree standing, and lit.

Mostly I am glad it's not there anymore. The tree is tall and bulky and gathers dust. The gold-and-red balls and the other ornaments are a tad too shiny. Now I have put them away in a bag and I feel relieved. It's back to bare walls and (attempting to be) minimalist furniture if I can help it.

Needless to say, 2016 was a bitch.

I began the new year trying to set things right -- although I slip, big time, every once in a while. I get back up the next day, removing distractions, slaying monsters, focusing on the goal, keeping my head held high and seeking comfort in the company of family and friends.

Reminding myself I know better.

This year I will put back this nine-foot tree earlier, and with it my fond hopes. I hope I will be happier when I do so. No, I know I will be happier when I do so. Now that's an ending -- a 2017 ending -- I can look forward to.