Between Christmas and New Years is my favorite time of the year. It’s one of my favorite phrases and its meaning we all love to sometimes hate. “Inbetween.” (Although it’s actually two words, as it should be, because it represents the “now” and then, the “then.”)
After December 25, when do we stop saying “Merry Christmas?” Is it the 26 or does the 26 still count but not the 29? When do we begin to say “Happy New Year?” Is December 27 or do we wait until 12:01 a.m. to call all of our friends. (I wouldn’t suggest that, by the way.)
In between: you find yourself grieving and anxious at the same time when you leave one job and anticipate another. “Maybe I should have stayed on just a few more years,” you think to yourself, “But this job looks better,” so why not.
If someone says that she is “in between jobs” then it’s an uncomfortable “in between” time. It means that “in between” is tweening waaaay too long. “In between jobs” is a polite way of saying, “Unemployed.”
You raise a family during this “in between” time, normally lasting around 18 years but find that that time gets longer and longer as you wake your 30-year-old son to get to work on time.
The doctor tells you “two weeks” for those test results and you’ve now created for yourself the space that is one of my favorite phrases.
A spouse or good friend passes away and that dreadful space is again created between the death and cemetery visit.
Our whole lives is an “in-between” time from our birth to our death. We live in this temporary world temporarily with always a Christian eye toward the eternal life that promises not to be “in between” anything, but what it is we hardly have a clue.
Jesus lived “in between” his birth and his resurrection. What comprised his “in between” time is anybody’s guess. For certain, we know very little, but it was truly inspiring and challenging. It’s also lasted the test of time for all of us “in between” folks for countless generations.
Retirement can rightly be called “in between time.” We’re “in between” whatever we did and what follows the gold watch. What does time mean to a retired person? An extra cup of coffee with a good friend because time moves slower? “Ah, go ahead and finish the movie,” you say to yourself at 11:00 p.m., “I’ll sleep-in tomorrow morning.” “I’d like to volunteer for something, but I’m not sure what, can you help me?”
For those who work, the “in between time” is Friday night to Monday morning. How do we fill those days?
So, do I wish you a “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy New Year?” Or should I say the elusively inclusive, “Happy Holidays?” Or is it both at the same time.