Counting Down To The Off-Season

One of the unfortunate side-effects of basing my lifestyle around David’s hockey career is that the vocabulary I use to describe my internal calendar is seriously affected. For example, I refer to the period of time that the general population knows as “April to August” as simply “the Off-Season.” What will you being doing in the Off-Season? Oh, you don’t have an Off-Season? You just live you entire life all year round as one unit? How strange!

And so, according to my admittedly warped sense of time, the Christmas decor and ‘Frohe Weinachten’ signs around town indicate that we have reached the pinnacle of this season and are starting the downward slope. “Halfway-Through-The-Season” is upon us. What does this mean, you ask? It means:

  1. The excuse ‘we’re not even halfway through the season yet’ does not apply any more when referring to losing a game, saving money, or planning for the Off-Season.
  2. We have to start slowly but steadily shedding extra baggage that we picked up during the first-half of the season. No more candles shall be bought, no more books accumulated, NO more boots accrued.
  3. Remember those people you spent the last 4 months breaking the ice with, resulting in numerous painful but socially productive hangovers?
  4. Now you should start the long, slow goodbye.

Right now I’m riding the crest of the Crimmy Ice Pirates season. The holidays represent the highest point of the bell curve, the brief moment of perfect equity before the cycle continues to run it’s course. This is not to imply, by any means, that the remainder of the season will be somehow less enjoyable. In fact, as irony would require, the second half of the season is usually more pleasant. By now you have picked up enough of the language to muddle through, you know which cashiers at our local grocery store will give you the stank eye or stank you out with the body odor. The game day routine of rides and tickets and seats is fully ironed out. Local foods have been tried and tested (in some case, spat out with disgust) and the winners are now in our normal rotation of meals. Friendships have been forced, formed and settled into. The apartment feels cozy, the town is familiar, the cold gazes of the Crimmy residents feel like home.

And all this comfort that comes while we perch precariously at the top of the curve leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth. Because although we’re just that much closer to going home, seeing old friends and much-missed family, and rolling around in a vat of Skippy, maple syrup and Oreos, we’re also barreling towards the phases of the year known as “Goodbye-There-Is-A-High-Likelihood-I-Will-Never-See-You-Again” followed shortly thereafter by “Limbo-A-Place-Worse-Than-Hell” while we wait for news of where we will go for the next season. As Jaime, another woman who measures her life in “seasons”, once said “I make you people my family.” And we make each place our home.

So I’ll do my best to live in the now, not always my strong point, and throw my hands up in the air before the roller coaster makes it’s descent! Hip Hip Hooray for the Holidays!

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