May Is The New December

We all expect the month of December to be busy. Whether we celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, the final 31-days of the year are chalk FULL.

Our already-busy lives somehow also need to squeeze in shopping, baking, gift-wrapping, parties, recitals, and programs, not to mention numerous church services and family get-togethers. The calendar is bursting, the weekends are packed and the days are counted down all the way to the final seconds of the final minute of the year when the ball drops in Times Square.

December wraps up and we crash. We did it. We survived. We may be bloodied and battered, but we’re still standing. We barely remember what we did or who we did it with, but we checked every box and that should be considered a win.

Then five months later, along comes the month of May. Oh she’s a sneaky one, all spring-like dropping hints of summer. Luring us into thinking we’ve made it through another school year only to drop a calendar bomb on our lives.

May is the new December. It might be December’s warmer, less-religious cousin, but it can blow up your schedule just as effectively.

It’s the end of the school year, so everything is wrapping up and insisting for its moment in the spotlight. Recitals, programs, presentations, and parties. May has it all, too.

Plus, Mother’s Day. That lovely holiday to celebrate moms squeezed into an already crowded month of activity. Someone should petition to move Mother’s Day to September – still beautiful weather, nothing going on.

There are gifts to buy in May. Mother’s Day gifts, grad gifts and teacher gifts. Teacher Appreciation Week falls in May adding yet another moment of planning, gift-buying and thoughtfulness. My friend Stacey wisely points out that she appreciates teachers all year round and perhaps we should consider moving that holiday as well, for SANITY'S SAKE!

May is busy, but we don’t gear up for her like we do December. December is something we brace for. May, on the other hand, happens TO us. Because we get caught up in our dreams of summer vacations, parades and bar-b-q, we don’t honor the month with our best efforts.

May demands our best just when we’re at our worst. Our kids are over school. So are we. We’re all phoning it in and yet May wags her finger reminding us how important she is. How important the people in our lives are and how this month provides the perfect opportunity to express it. How important school and activities are and how this month provides the perfect time to showcase them.

Mercy!

I can’t. I cared in August and December. I even still cared in April, but I don’t care anymore. I want to roll through this month giving zero extra effort. In fact, I’m offering negative effort at this point.

That’s why May can seem even harder than December. No juice. No gumption. Nothing left in the tank.

May screams at me from the sidelines to finish well and I flip her the bird. All I want is for it to be over.

Sign the planner? Forget it.

Donate treats? Thanks anyway.

Help with homework? That would be a NO.

Don't judge me by my efforts in May. I was awesome in September. Remember me from my glorious, early-in-the-school-year brilliance, please.

It's too late now. Balls are dropping everywhere and not in Times Square.

 This has been written on the chalkboard in our front entry since New Year's Eve. Don't be like me.

This has been written on the chalkboard in our front entry since New Year's Eve. Don't be like me.

I want the glorious days of summer with fewer demands and events on the calendar. I want stress-free, activity-free, gift-free, thoughtfulness-free living.

And yet….

The sentimentalist in me wants to enjoy the month of May, too. I want to celebrate a year of dance with a recital. And the celebration of another school year with a program. I want baskets made from Solo cups filled with popcorn and candy on May 1st and I want lovely teacher gifts thoughtfully given to the people who love my kids each and every day.

Therein lies the rub. The tension. May offers me lots of opportunities for joy buried in the midst of busyness and a total lack of motivation. The joy is in there somewhere if only I can stay focused for just another two weeks.

I can do this. You can do this, too. Power through, people!

Just like in December, a new month is on the horizon. June is coming and she's looking great. June is easy-breezy, with no demands or expectations. You'll like her a lot. Plus, she's much warmer than January and you don't have to make any New Year's resolutions!