Beth Brandon

Which is the crustiest? A loaf of French bread? Pizza crust? The clown from “The Simpsons?” Or an Aspen service industry worker on Jan. 3?

To those of you who survived the holidays, I salute you. To those of you who were able to enjoy a couple of long weekends, take note of your post-holiday blues and then dial that up several notches, because that’s how you’d feel if you had been on the front lines of service for the past two weeks. There are a large group of workers who could use a soft blanket, a big hug and a solid day’s sleep right about now.

I’m not exactly sure of what day it is, or if they’re all gone yet, but I’m alive and another successful Aspen Christmas/New Year's holiday is in the books. Now we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Not too long though. We have an entire winter season ahead of us. It’s quite possible that I may need to seek out a beach before April this year.

I’m only three days into the New Year and I’m beat. I don’t think I’ve ever worked 19 days in a row. But now I can check that box. Wait, as of Saturday at 5 p.m., I can check that box. Balance in life is good. Breaks are necessary. And, by my own choosing, I thought I’d put my nose to the grindstone and crank out some extra hours and save for a rainy day, or at this point, the nearest sunny beach. As of this writing, I’d like to take it all back.

What the hell was I thinking?!

I was obviously not thinking about the whole marathon aspect. I went for it and busted out with an early sprint and thought I could keep the pace. I’m tired though. Exhausted and spent. I’m not alone. We all do it, because the holidays in Aspen are the exact time to save for the rainy day fund.

I might as well have worn spikes on my clothing as I navigated town during the holidays this year. I asked for a “heads up” to sidewalk companions on more than one occasion but still had people careen straight into me. While skiing Ajax, I actually saw someone on the corner of Kleenex Corner with their phone in one hand, both ski poles in the other, either Face Timing or checking emails. I thought I might go ballistic, so instead I went home. Just enjoy skiing already!

I had a very low tolerance for getting bumped into or slammed into this year. It might have had something to do with almost getting hit by a car in a crosswalk on Christmas. It made me a little testy.

So now that that’s all behind us, bring on 2019, right? This is the last year in this decade before we move on to the Roaring Twenties and I myself reach a new decade in life, too. Eek! Better make it count.

Generally speaking, I like to set New Year’s intentions, instead of resolutions. It sets a nice tone and makes me feel positive and hopeful about the year ahead. This year was no different. I wanted to set intentions. But since I’m confused on what day it is and what exactly I want out of life, other than a day off, my intentions are a little fuzzy at the moment.

Instead of worrying and fretting, which is something I’m hard-wired to do when times are challenging, I’d love it if I could look for the adventurous aspect a little more. Life is all about perspective after all. And while we’ve just catered to some very special people the adventure of it all is worthy to be able to gain some perspective, right?

I spent New Year’s Day licking my wounds in the morning, and then going to work again. I didn’t ski nor was I even hung over, just dusted from the cumulative effect of Holidaze 2018.

We’re all pooped, and have little left in the tank. Every local I spoke to at work on New Year’s Day seemed to feel similarly. Spanked. The crowd was particularly rough this year. Word on the street was that they tipped well though, so that’s a plus. Depending on the thickness of your skin you’ll need a certain amount of down time to recover. Either way, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got money in the bank and the worst is behind you.

After the whole Kleenex Corner encounter and four days away from Ajax I went back. I used the force and asked for a peaceful ride up the gondola. Lo and behold that’s exactly what happened. I sat with a friendly local attorney and chatted not just about the craziness of Christmas 2018, but about living the good life here.

We are on the other side of Christmas and have seen how hard we can work and just exactly what we’re made of. The rest of the season should be a no-brainer. Well done! Now shed the crusty layer, go treat yourself to something special and book that vacation. You deserve it. Next up MLK Day weekend, then President’s Day, then, well, you get the idea.

To good health, fun adventures and prosperity in 2019!  

The cure for crust is a lot of moisturizer. Beth can be reached at