I call this time of year the tween. It is the lull between two storms. The first indication that we are in it is the silence. If you listen real hard, you will not hear any Christmas carols, and there is no one constantly encouraging you to buy anything and everything because “it is the season”. Well, if lore is to be believed, it is also “the season to be jolly”. What happened to that? Just a few days ago, people smiled at each other, wished strangers a Merry Christmas, and generally seemed upbeat. But all that good will seems to have disappeared in the tween, or at least has gone back underground.
We are currently enshrouded in a time warp, where all the hype, all the expressed good will and peace on earth have been replaced by, well, silence. It is like holding our breath until the next big thing comes along, which of course is only a couple of days away. We can anticipate a renewal of best wishes for the New Year, and of course, the onslaught of end of year sales. Parties will be planned and revelers will once more converge on Times Square to ring in the new year. People will again, if only for one night, enjoy a sense of camaraderie and fellowship. And then, the tween will be over.
If there is something to be said for the tween, it is that it offers an opportunity for reflection. Not just for what has been, but for what can be. Many will resolve to improve in some way via resolutions which will probably last as long as a health club membership. Next year will be better we will say, just as we did last year, and the year before. There will be, even if unspoken, as sense of something more positive on the horizon. And, at some point in time, we will return to reality.
I personally consider myself an optimist. I know that if I look hard enough at anything, I can find something, however small, that is positive. I have to believe that even if all things do not get better, some will improve. I also believe that it is up to me to make that happen. So if you are coming out of the grocery store, and a stranger smiles at you, it could be me. If no one smiles at you, well, you know how to do it too. Happy New Year.