certain types of madness

Today I had a friend tell me she thinks I get depressed around the holidays. This made no sense to me. I have a wonderful time during the holidays. I love seeing my family again, my nephews and nieces so excited about their Christmas presents, filled with that focused enthusiasm. I love celebrating the new year with my friends, raising a glass of champagne to happier times, talking about auld lang syne, preparing to make new memories for the next year. I told her I was perfectly happy during the holidays.

Then I started thinking about it. This was the first year she had known me for the holiday season. Maybe it wasn't seasonal at all but something could still be bothering me. But what? Have my other friends noticed it? Have I been unusually surly, more quiet than usual, more prone to sarcasm and cynicism?

I was restless by the time I got home. I prepared a cup of tea and drank it as calmly as I could, then got up and started to pace furiously. Now my mind was in gear I kept thinking of times I was uncharacteristically short, times I said something I wouldn't have otherwise. They seemed innumerable. It seemed impossible that I should have missed them all. My friends were saints for even enduring it--and they did so without a word of complaint!

Then I wondered if I had missed them at all. Perhaps they were normal, all in the course of a day. Was this indicative of a prevailing mood? Was something even the matter with me? Was she just mad herself, or projecting her own feelings onto me? Was she trying to force me into a fit of introspection, to ruin the positive feelings I had about the new year?

It did not occur to me until much later that it was daft to even be worried about it.

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