In the ‘Widdahood,’ Starting the New Year Right

I’m in a funk.

I know, I know…everyone is going to say that I shouldn’t be surprised, that it happens to everyone after the holidays.  But it’s surprising me.

I’m not quite sure why I’m experiencing this post-holiday let down.  I know I used to go through it as a kid (in a BIG way), but as an adult, I’m usually just as happy to see the holidays go.  Especially because the older I get, the more it seems like I blink and they’re staring me in the face once again.

I think the major part of my funk is that it’s already the New Year.  Where in the heck did my fall go?  One minute, I was in shorts and the next I was wrapping Christmas presents.  I just recently put my cover on my grill because it occurred to me that I might not be dining al fresco for awhile.  The football game we talked about going to months ago that seemed so far away, was suddenly over….

And I didn’t even buy tickets.

Even though I swore I wouldn’t overbook myself over the holidays, they zoomed in and out and I now I feel like I’ve been involved in a hit and run, courtesy of the Christmas Spirit.  I’m dazed, confused, and medication may be needed.

Truth be told, I didn’t expect much out of the holidays this year so I can’t really figure out why I’m feeling this huge let down.  Don’t get me wrong. I finally felt like things were getting back on track after my 3 previous Christmases here in Widowdom.  But I’ve also learned to lower my expectations just a teensy bit so that I’m not disappointed when my deceased husband doesn’t show up at my front door with keys to a new car and tickets for a cruise that leaves in 4 hours.

You know, I’m trying to be a little more realistic.

I did my best to give my kids and myself a low-key Christmas this year…that was my present to me.  In fact, my oldest spent most of her vacation in her pjs and can probably recite every word of every Hannah Montana show ever made.  Yesterday, they all spent the day in their pajamas and I was too darn lazy to make them change, even when we went to the store.  But I figured, if you can’t wear your pjs and robe to Walgreens, where else can you?  And the bottom line was, it just wasn’t worth the battle to make them change so that I could buy Motrin and some microwave popcorn.

Again, I lowered my expectations.

It amazed me how utterly exhausted I was this holiday season.  And for the life of me I can’t figure out why.  I spent Christmas exactly the way I wanted to…with my immediate family and a requirement that everyone had to wear elastic.  We had one little hiccup on Christmas Day when I realized that the 20 lb. turkey I had purchased for 4 adults had not thawed at all in the 6 days it had been sitting in the fridge.  So we ate a little later than we thought we would as my mom and I battled it out with Bob the Turkey (my daughter informed me that we had already eaten Tom over Thanksgiving) to get him to cooperate.

No toys had to be assembled until 3 AM on Christmas Eve.  I didn’t have to set the table for 26 people I didn’t know.  I didn’t host any parties and I really didn’t go to any.

So why in the heck did I spend December 26th unable to do anything except watch 5 movies back to back?

My New Year’s Eve was spent relaxing and chatting with people in the Widdahood.  My New Year’s Day was spent…actually I can’t even remember how it was spent it was that eventful.

So why am I sitting here feeling…a little let down?

Sometimes I hate growing up.  I’m watching my kids who are so excited to go back to school and see their friends as I sit here staring at my electric bill that I forgot to pay in all of the holiday “excitement.”  They can’t wait to tell everyone about the presents they got while I’m trying to figure out which kidney I should sell to pay for them.  They are tucked away in their beds, sleeping blissfully until the morning when the biggest decision they’ll have to make is whether to have Corn Chex or Cheerios for breakfast.

I’m sitting here trying to decide if I should take a Tylenol PM or treat myself to half an Ambien.

Right now, I’m feeling the pressure of all of the things I’ve put off until “after the first of the year.”  I know this next week will be hard as we try and get ourselves back into the groove (I dread trying to get the kids out of those pjs in time for the bus).  The bills will come.  My Southern Living will be a little thinner because after the holidays…what is there to decorate for in January?

I’m doing my darndest to give myself something to look forward to in the near future.  But I keep getting weird looks as I try and sell a “Martin Luther King Jr. Party” to my friends and family.  I enjoy the Superbowl, but that’s not enough to get me out of my funk.  And even though the rest of America seems to be obsessed with the upcoming Royal wedding in April (I know…why do we care so much?)…that’s certainly not enough to get me motivated.

If anything I look at that cute girl and want to hide back under the covers with my stale Christmas cookies and a bag of corn chips.

I don’t know.  I spend forever telling you all that if you get in a funk, you don’t have to jolly your way out of it.  There are some days that are just not as “sparkly” as others.  So I guess I’ll just relax in my funk (okay, that just made it sound like I really need to take a shower) and live to sparkle another day.

Until then, I may start working on a menu for that Martin Luther King, Jr. party.  I know my friends.  Wave some free food in front of them, and they’ll come around.

Catherine Tidd 2010

Catherine Tidd

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Catherine Tidd is a widow and the Founder of, a free social support network dedicated to anyone who has lost a significant other. She is also a writer, public speaker, and mother to three young entertaining children. She received a degree in English from Rollins College in 1998 and has since worked as a writer, editor, Marketing Manager, and Event Planner. Originally from Louisiana, Ms. Tidd currently lives in Denver, CO. To read more of Catherine's work, visit

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