Everlasting Memories Blog About Life, Loss and Everything In Between
Tis the Season
Have a holly jolly Christmas
The most magical time of the year. I love the month of December, the holiday spirit, the holiday cheer, the beautiful decorations, the anticipation of what is to come, gift giving, gift receiving, the beauty and peace and love of the season. And cookies and cocktails. Lots of cocktails. Yes, this time of year, this season is full of magic!
It is also a season of many other things. A season of intangibles that are necessary, that don’t have to be fleeting and just a part of THIS season. Tis the season to be so many things and with a little recognition, a little reflection and maybe just a little faking it til you make it - tis the season for a wealth of opportunities to finish 2017 with a positive perspective and a commitment to make the next year of life one that is impactful.
Tis the Season to Be Gracious
Ahhhh. Gracious. Derived from the word grace. It is definitely the season to be gracious. To be courteous. To be kind. Not a hard concept. Something we preach to our children, an extension of ourselves to overlook negative behavior and rise above. Until someone cuts us in line. Or we are shoved from behind by someone trying to get the last remaining Glow in the Dark Pink Metallic Spinner at ToysRus. Or the car in front of us orders 50 thousand items from Dunkin Donuts and we are already LATE FOR WORK. Being gracious is replaced by intolerance for the fact that someone else’s agenda is taking precedence over ours.
Take a deep breath and a step back. Find your grace. Find your kindness and let them cut you in line. I make an effort to remind myself and my little gooses that we don’t walk a mile in other people’s shoes. We don’t know what their life is all about. Give them the benefit of the doubt and be gracious. And smile. And extend kindness. Buy the order for the person behind you in line and have the cashier just wish them a Merry Christmas. Small gestures of grace can make a world of difference, be life altering in the lives of others. Be the example. Set the bar.
Gracious in My World
I try to be a gracious person. My grandmother was the very definition of grace and is someone that I strive to be like daily. But I am not a perfect person and I have my moments, my days where I’m like Seriously??? Again??? And I’ll have a meltdown and rage and then attempt to wipe the slate clean. But it is not an easy task.
Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound.
I work from home. And I love it. And some days I don’t love it so much. Given my tribe of doggies and that they bark and wrestle and shed and are needy. Sometimes they make my life challenging, make trying to get work done near impossible, are the worst possible coworkers. But they are animals. And they love me to pieces. And they are a reminder to me daily to be gracious, to be kind, to be accommodating to their desire to just get my attention. Be gracious in life’s magical moments and in life’s challenges.
Tis the Season to Be Unwavering
Steady. Resolute. Solid, strong words. It is the season to be unwavering. Things are going to go wrong. During the holidays for sure. In life. That Hallmark image that we have in our mind, the beautiful Christmas dinner, everyone holding hands and singing carols together - chances are slim it’s going to go down exactly like that. In fact, if your homes are anything like mine than there will always be some sort of dysfunction, some stupid argument, a broken toy, a burned turkey, you run out of booze, etc. Yes, the holidays are perfect in their guarantee of some sort of imperfection.
Be unwavering. Be strong and steady in your resolve to make the best of things. Life is not meant to be perfect. It’s meant to be a hot mess. And that’s okay. Be steadfast and resolute in your commitment to your family. To your friendships. To yourself. Bumps in the road are part of the journey, like the dips and heights of a roller coaster. Yet it is our unwavering spirit that allows us to readjust ourselves in the saddle during those bumps and then continue to march.
Unwavering in My World
I got punched in the face with unwavering this week. Like knocked out. Got back from a much needed respite, an annual weekend away and flew in around midnight on Sunday. About 11 am Monday morning I was hit full force with the stomach bug. And I hate being sick. More than anything in the world. And here after all of these days away, with my Rob taking the reins and managing our family, I came home ready to take back those reins. And I couldn’t. And for me - that is heartbreaking. Because this beautiful family of mine - they are MINE. My life’s work. My dream job.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Started to feel a little better on Tuesday. Not much. But a teensy. Managed to get up and do some of the things that were beckoning me - laundry, dishes, etc. ‘Mom’ the house. Woke up Wednesday am ready to tackle the day, dropped off the finished laundry, even put it away. Came home and walked into the family room. And there lay the Christmas tree. On the floor. And I just sat down and cried. Not because of the tree. But because of the smashed ornaments lying underneath the tree. I finally dried my tears, got the ladder and God don’t ask me how but managed to get the tree back up by myself. And cleaned up all the mess. I could sit and cry about the loss. I made a choice. To be unwavering. Steady. Tree is a little worse for the wear and currently being held down with about 300 lbs of weights. But it is up. And still just as beautiful.
Tis the Season to Be Joyful
YASSSSS! Tis the season to be the jolliest bunch of people this side of the nuthouse. Yes, it is a season to gather with kith and kin and bring in the holiday love and joy of the season. Until the in-laws arrive. And that annoying cousin. And the neighbor with the bad breath that brings you fruitcake. Presents that disappoint, the dog leaves a present on the rug, the gravy is spilled, you run out of booze. Yes, lots and lots of reasons to be joyful.
The very essence of the holidays, of our lives is joy. To be joyful in the presence of the those that we love. To look around us and find the joy in the simplicity of our haves. When you strip away the wrapping paper, the ribbons, all of it - what are you left with? The desire, the need, the search for joy. And it’s often right smack dab in front of us. Be joyful this holiday season. Be mindful of the joy that you have in your life that you are overlooking. I promise you - finding that joy, appreciating that joy, having gratitude for that joy - that is what the season is about, what gives our lives meaning.
Joyful In My World
As I said, I just returned from a weekend away. The one weekend a year that I take and I go back to visit my family. This year was important for so many reasons. It has been a year of challenges, of health concerns, of loss. A year of so many changes. And it’s good for me to take a break from my duties here as mom, wife, friend and just go back to MT and take on other important roles. A daughter. A sister. Me.
Can’t you give me five more minutes
And oh how I love my family. I got the opportunity to see almost everyone. My dad. And my dad. Spend a lot of quality time with my mom. And my brother and his family. I was dropping off my brother’s children after spending Sunday morning with them, shopping for Christmas, breakfast. We shared so much laughter, so much silliness. When I went to hug my brother good-bye, he wouldn’t let me go. Hugged me so tight and so long that I was overwhelmed with how much love was in my heart, how full of joy and gratitude I was for each and every moment. Was my most favorite and treasured part of my weekend away.
Be gracious to those around you. Practice patience, tolerance and, above all else, kindness. Be unwavering in your resolve to make the best of the twists and turns in the path, at the curve balls and challenges. Life is a gift and you have to take the good with the not so good. And be oh so joyful! There is so much joy to be had, to be embraced. Hug those you love a little tighter, a little longer. As we head into these final couple of weeks of 2017, the final charge to the most wonderful time of the year, open up your eyes and your arms to your haves! I leave you with the reminder that none of us know when this is our last trip on the merry-go-round. Our lives, our time with others - it is FINITE. So take heed. Be all in. Tis the season to make each moment count.
Tis the Season To Be Loved