lim·i·nal adjective \ˈli-mə-nəl\ : of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition : in-between, transitional
As the new year rolls up on us, it is a time for renewal. For many, this takes the form of resolutions, kept with varying degrees of success; in this space, it has traditionally been a renewal of values. This time, however, I find myself at the center of a veritable storm of rejuvenation and renaissance, with all kinds of changes and growth happening all around me, so much that it seems this holiday-transition time is never-ending: limitless liminality.
It started on November 16, when I bought a showroom-new car for only the second time in over forty years as a driver. Fairly big deal, and the least of the developments to come.
On December 3, I informed my institution that I was leaving my position as Dean for Student Learning and asserting my right under tenure to return to teaching faculty. The decision was the outcome of a constellation of considerations and not made lightly; I think it will be a fruitful choice in the long run.
Two days later, during Coco's birthday celebrations, I asked her to marry me and she said yes. After eight years, it seemed time. The household happiness index has never been higher, and it keeps rising.
On January 6, in a tattoo parlor in Greenwood, Coco and I had Sanskrit symbols inked on our ring fingers and tied the knot right there.
A few days ago, on January 18, I went under the knife, snicker-snack, for a vasectomy.
And we're leaving for Hawaii in a week and a half, for a slightly delayed Maui-moon.
In between all those significant events were the usual Big Three of holidays - Thanksgiving, Isaac Newton's Birthday, and New Year's Eve (with bonus ear infection and urgent care visit!) - as well as the birthdays and anniversaries of several friends and family, visits from abroad, and extended cat-sitting duties.
There are two upshots to this:
1. I can't remember what a "normal" week feels like.
2. Although all this change has inspired me to different creative, artistic, and self-improvement endeavors, I feel like I haven't been able to get purchase to move forward on any of them.
Here's the solution: I am delaying my own personal New Year's until Sunday, February 10. If the lunisolar calendar that has served the Celestial Empire for something like 4000 years is good enough for something like a billion and a half people, then it's good enough for me, at least this year.
So, you may be hearing from me in the next few weeks as I try to knit up the ravell'd sleeve of change, but the big change will be delayed a bit. When lichun gets, here, though, there will be red envelopes for everyone and renewed vigor all around. Just have patience...
...this may take a little longer than I planned.