Day 12: December 23

Sleep in. You read that right. Wake up when your body is ready to wake up instead of only after hitting the snooze button on your obnoxious alarm seven times. (By the way, there are other sounds you could choose besides “hateful buzzer.”)

Grab a cup of comfort-coffee (the kind of you grew up on), and cuddle up with your computer, a sleepy puppy, and a days’ worth of work. Get up to refresh your coffee and come back to this:

Puppies are sneaky.
Puppies are sneaky.

Have a little talk:

She didn't want to hear it.
She didn’t want to hear it.

And then compromise:

Compromise
Compromise:What you can’t see, is that I’m holding my laptop in the air, trying to type without disturbing her.

Realize that puppies are productivity killers. Venture out to find Fayetteville’s best coffee shop. Use your recent  “ask the barista what he recommends” strategy. Enjoy a perfect cup of coffee, complete with hipster set up, and work on your less than perfect thesis.

Hipster Coffee
Hipster Coffee

Sip and dream about the day it’s done.

Translation: Twenty-five is mornings without alarms, puppies that steal your spot, and having a favorite coffee shop in every city. Further translation: twenty-five is awesome.

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Day 13: December 24

Roomies

Accomplish efficient errand-running with your big sister. (You both can’t stop talking about how awesome you both are at running errands.) Help prepare a delicious southern meal for your family. Continue your annual Christmas Eve movie tradition with Saving Mr. Banks.

If you’re being honest, you had no interest in seeing this movie. You voiced your concerns with a but if y’all really want to see it... They did. (You’ll always be the youngest.)

Surprise: it was amazing. The story touched your heart as a person, a daughter, and most importantly, as a writer who cares deeply for her characters (which is good because they’re real people in your case).

Miss your brother, because he’s three states away, and it’s the first Christmas you haven’t spent with him in 25 years.  Look forward to a phone date with him soon. (And smile because you know he hates when you call them “dates.” You don’t go on dates with your little sister, Michelle. It’s weird. Stop calling it that.)

Translation: Twenty-five is being wrong about things and being pleasantly surprised by your total wrongness. And missing your brother when he’s far away.

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Day 14: December 25

Enjoy a quiet Christmas. It’s the first time you’ve been a part of a holiday with less than ten people present. And it was lovely kind of quiet.

Talk about this being the last Christmas without a baby. Smile at each other because there’s going to be a baby! and make inappropriate name suggestions, because hey, it’s not your baby.

Go for a hike, and bring a puppy who’s never walked more than a mile before. The puppy will cry for most of it, worried about the cold and the setting sun and her baby paws that haven’t touched this much “outdoors” before.

Family Hiking
Family Hiking from Dad’s perspective

Try not to laugh at the puppy; you remember what it’s like to be little with little legs and little understanding of where you’re going.

Translation: Twenty-five is life like it hasn’t been before. Twenty-five is new memories with new puppies and excitement surrounding the promise of a whole new era for the Junot family. Twenty-five is awaiting baby Hilbun and learning what it means to be the coolest aunt a kid’s ever had.

Take One
Take One
Take Two
Take Two

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Day 15: December 26

Spend your day with your sister and the puppy and “the bump” on the couch. Become a little concerned that you’re eating and sleeping a lot more than your pregnant sister.  Encourage her to eat more, you know, for the baby and stuff.

Unsubscribe from all the email updates you’ve subscribed to over the previous year (read: avoid your thesis some more). Clear out over 1,000 emails. Feel productive, even though you weren’t.

Go for a quick run so you can justify taking a shower and eating more leftovers. It’s not really an even trade, but whatever. It’s vacation.

Remember watching Picket Fences as kids. Find Picket Fences on Hulu. Watch Picket Fences as adults.

Translation: Twenty-five is to STOP SUBSCRIBING TO EMAILS. Seriously. Twenty-six will thank you for this.

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Writer’s Note: This post is part of a larger series called “Learning Twenty-Five.”