Ten days before Christmas, eleven days before Boxing Day.
This is where I struggle with Christmas, this time of the year makes me uneasy. And that's not because I'm part Grinch, part Head Elf.
I just get a little manic, in the best and worst way.
Christmas songs get me dancing and full of the jazz notion and the prospect of eating honey-roasted parsnips fills me the nothing but excitement.
Then there's the not so good side of being manic towards Christmas.
I feel everything. Every tiny speck of worry, stress, criticism. All absorbed at full speed - and full concentration - in to my system. It runs through my head, my veins, my bones. It makes me weak and vulnerable.
The passing of the strongest woman I knew on Boxing Day just four years ago hits me. Every year. It hits me hard and fast. Strong and true.
Now I'm not shunning these feelings. They're real, and justified because they are mine and I still love her.
What a woman. So free in her wildness. So elegant and a total badass. The sweetest cherry and most sour lemon. She left a taste in your mind, one that only filled you with pure amazement and wonder.
It reminds me to stay mindful. To acknowledge that it's okay to go a little manic, just in moderation. To remember that she was a vibrant soul and I am too.
Things aren't always swell, but there's always something to learn from the not so swell.
It will get better. I can still eat my honey-roasted parsnips and I can still take a day to be still and remember.
There's no compulsory rule that says 'enjoy every minute of the Christmas period.' It's my time, to feel what I want, do what I want, enjoy what I want.
And the simple fact that I know this to be true means my Christmas will be loud and quiet, busy and calm and just right, in all the ways I see it to be.