It seems we’ve hit the off season.
Christmas is past, all tied up in a yesterday’s crumpled wrapping paper ready to be recycled.
The new year is still an embryo waiting to be born, a brand new blank calendar year, well-wishers wearing silly hats and frantically blowing those little paper noisemakers are optimistically preparing to usher in.
But, for now there are a few days when there is no great holiday to be celebrated.
In hockey and golf, they call it the shoulder season — a time when golfers go into withdrawal because of the frost warnings and hockey schedules have yet to be made up.
I like this; the shoulder season between Christmas and the new year.
It’s good. It’s time to breathe and forget about trying to do more stuff.
It’s too late. It’s done. The deadline is past.
The thing I like about this time other than I can’t possibly shop, bake or wrap another thing for the plain and simple reason that it’s too late, is, well, actually that’s it. That’s what I like.
The deadline is passed.
I get the word, deadline.
In the newspaper world where I seem to live a lot of my life, the word deadline is our daily bread, our bottom line, in fact, our own special greeting to each other.
In a newspaper office, people don’t say good morning to each other. Instead they say, “Deadline Day.”
And they definitely don’t say Merry Christmas. They simply look at each other and mutter the dreaded words, “early deadline.” Then off they go to their little cubicles where they mutter stuff like “I hate Christmas and I hate Christmas concerts” and then they identify with Scrooge and all that “Bah humbug” stuff and somehow feel a little better because they realize they are all prisoners in a world made of newspapers of all things.
And they can’t get out!
But, the deadline, as is the case in all deadlines, passes and newspaper people live to tell the tale and even, for some strange reason, do it all again.
It’s something to do with the ink, I think. It’s addicting.
So, this year, in spite of dire predictions the world as we know it, will end, newspaper and Christmas and their ensuing deadlines have come and gone.
And looking back on the days between the deadlines, it seems we’ve all lived through a whole lot of experiences that have, hopefully, left us a little more humble, and, perhaps even a little wiser.
I, personally, am still a little short on the wiser part, but seem only to grow older with clockwork regularity.
It’s been a season punctuated with the comforting familiarity of Christmas concerts and Christmas greetings that warm even 30 below weather because they come from friends and, even more importantly, from strangers about to be friends.
And, it has also been a season marked forever with the unspeakable tragedy in the United States of the senseless killing of children, gunned down ruthlessly by a tortured young man.
And as we move toward the unknown, unchartered territory of 2013, we can be certain that there is really nothing we can be certain of.
Except, of course, deadlines.
They never seem to disappear!