The Holidailies prompt for today is “Five Years Ago.”
Christmas, 2004. Right around this time five years ago, I was just finishing up my first semester of law school. I don’t have any wild recollections about this time, probably because my brain was so numbed by things like Criminal Law and Contracts that I wasn’t able to focus on anything else. I do shudder when I think of Civil Procedure though, so we’ll blame that course for most of the pain.
2004 was my first grown-up Christmas. It was the first year that I was living in my own place with my own Christmas tree. Every year previous, I was either living at home, or at least home from college for the holidays. It was the first time I really got to decorate, though if I’m remembering correctly, my mom did most of the tree decorating herself. She’s pretty much a pro at it, seeing as I believe she has nine trees in her house this year. What’s one more tree to decorate?
I think 2004 was also the first time that Christmas really snuck up on me. In grade school and high school, everyone spent time working on holiday concert music and planning gifts and parties. In college, the dorms had informal decorating competitions and everyone counted down the days until they could go home for winter break. But in law school, while we still had winter break, we all dreaded it, because to get to winter break, we had to get through finals. Sure, we had finals in college (and high school), but this was the first time that our final grade was our entire grade for the semester. Plus it was just scary. The saying about law school is that the first year, they scare you to death, the second year, they work you to death, and the third year, they bore you to death. I think we were all sufficiently scared in December of 2004.
The other big difference, I think, was that winter break didn’t have the meaning that it used to. I was living 45 minutes from my parents. I saw my family all the time. I wasn’t going anywhere for winter break. I was staying in my apartment and just spending a few days at my parents’ house for Christmas. Sure, the previous year I had lived at home, but that in itself was a bit of a novelty. It was going to be nice to have a few weeks off, but at the same time, I had work that I needed to be doing over that break, so it wasn’t quite the same. In college, there was never a project that needed to be worked on over the semester break since all classes changed.
2004 was the year that Cadu discovered just how much he loves the Christmas tree. He still sleeps under it every year and as soon as I begin putting it up, he crawls underneath. He climbs it once a year as well. I figure that’s just part of his holiday traditions. Thankfully, the tree is now on a carpeted surface, so if any ornaments fall, they are much less likely to break.
I think that in 2004, if you had asked me where I would be in five years, living in the Washington, D.C. area and working for the Federal Government wouldn’t have been on my list of answers. I wonder where I’ll be in another five years.