| I’m having a little trouble getting into the holiday groove this year. This is unusual for me. Generally speaking, I adore the holidays and energetically decorate like a fiend and walk around full of good will towards men and what not. This year, not so much.
I have not even begun to decorate my house. I look at the plastic tubs full of decorations and instead of feeling jolly, ho, ho, ho - I feel like taking a nap. I admit to being somewhat perplexed by this. It’s never happened before.
I think that I may have lost my groove. I’m finding it difficult to get enthusiastic about much of anything lately. I think that it may have something to do with the fact that I tend to get enthusiastic about things that leave a lot of other people either moaning or snoring.
Case in point…I ran across a mathematical theory the other day that I found fascinating. I spent a considerable amount of time online researching this theory and gathering a mountain of information on it and similar theories. Nothing wrong with that, right?
The problem was that I couldn’t find anyone else who found it as fascinating as I did. There I was, all excited about what I had learned, wanting to share the excitement with others; and when I started talking about it, the reception I got was at best, incredulous, and at worst, bored and annoyed. Someone even said, “Adele, it’s a bunch of numbers. Go away.” That’ll knock the groove out of you.
So, there are not a lot of people out there who get all girlishly excited about the same things I do. That’s hardly new. I’m not sure that it explains why the thought of decorating my house for Christmas makes me want to take a nap. There is the fact that I am generally suffering from a feeling of apathy and malaise. Even the thought of engaging in any of my favorite hobbies leaves me wishing for a comfy chair and a warm blanket. I told a friend of mine that I was feeling frumpy, lumpy, stumpy, bumpy and grumpy. He remarked that anyone who is feeling a total of five “umpy” words was probably in serious need of a mental health professional or a thesaurus. Maybe both.
I told him that I just needed to get my groove back. I’m grooveless. Sans groove. Groove challenged. My groove is defunct, departed, decommissioned, deceased. He observed that I seemed to have lost my grasp of the English language along with it. Smart aleck.
The other day, I was sitting in my office, pondering my grooveless state, when a student came in to see me. She is a nice young girl of about 18 or 19. She noticed that I was looking a little listless and asked me what was wrong. I told her about my lack of groove and general “umpiness”. After I had finished describing my current state, she looked at me and said, “Adele, it’s the change of life.”
“Change of Life”. I hate that expression. It’s a ridiculously simple euphemism for a lot of highly complicated stuff, none of which is remotely pleasant. Nevertheless, it struck me that she might very well be correct in her assessment of my groovelessness.
She went on to tell a little story about her aunt, who evidently was the best and most prodigious holiday baker in a 50-mile radius. Family and neighbors looked forward to holidays and drooled in anticipation of her many delicious holiday confections. One year she announced to the world that she was not going to bake a single thing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Easter. Everyone reacted with shock and horror. A holiday was just not a holiday without auntie’s treats. She had done it since anyone could remember. She was a veritable goodies machine.
According to her niece, it was caused by the “Change of Life.” Auntie hit her mid-forties and decided to call it quits. She didn’t want to do it anymore and she didn’t care what anyone thought about it. So there. And this attitude lasted until she came out on the other end of the magical “Change of Life” adventure trail.
Now I was faced with the fact that, although I could expound at length on complex mathematical theories and formulas no one cared about other than myself, I was so stupid that I couldn’t figure out that I had lost my groove to the “Change of Life.” Duh. Out of the mouths of babes.
I called up my friend, the alliteration critic, and told him what I had discovered about my “umpiness.”
“Well, Adele” he said. “I kind of figured that’s what it was.”
“Why didn’t you say so then?” I queried with irritation. “You could have saved me a whole lot of useless pondering.”
“I thought you might get a little upset if I brought it up”, he responded meekly.
“Don’t be ridiculous”, I snorted. “The truth is always preferable to the mental gymnastics involved in making things up.”
He told me that I should comfort myself with the knowledge that I would ultimately, not only get rid of my “umpiness”, I would get my groove back and be groovier than ever.
I wish there were a mathematical formula that could prove that he’s right.