Well, it's over. Presents were ripped open with reckless abandon, too much food was consumed and too much wine was drunk. But it was fun, it was heartwarming, and most of all, it was what Christmas is supposed to be about--family. And of course, video games, The Littlest Pet Shop and the Poo Poo on the Potty baby doll. I'm pretty sure my kids got everything they asked for, and much, much more. This Christmas, which I foresaw as the saddest little budget conscious Christmas our family has ever experienced, turned out to be big, bold and not even the least bit sad or little. I think we found the spirit of Christmas, that entity that my mom always told me about when I was a wee lass, the force that appeared in December that, somehow, some way, always made Christmas possible, even when no one knew how it could be done.
So here I sit, sick as a dog, trying to catch up on all the work I haven't done this past week. I am tired, throat raw and burning, head spinning and achy. But, surprisingly, I am in a really good mood. I haven't quite figured out why, but I have some inklings. It could be that I look to my right and see the beautiful organizational job I did yesterday with all my daughter's new gifts and the thought of watching her play with them makes me smile. It might be because my stepson is at his mother's for another three days and I get to catch my breath and pretend to be a mom of one for just a little while, only to have him come back and hug me tightly and make me realize how much I missed him. Or, quite possibly, it could be because my husband and I have been screwing like bunnies for two weeks and we seem to have rediscovered a passion and appreciation for one another that has renewed our love for one another.
While all of these things are contributing to my good mood, I am pretty sure the main reason for my feeling of well-being is the new year approaching and a chance for a clean slate and new beginnings. 2008 wasn't the easiest of years. But it brought good, along with the bad, and it taught me about disappointment and loss in a way I had never experienced. It made me appreciate the things I have that are such blessings, and showed me that life is too short to be angry or resentful. I know that 2009 is going to teach me how to be happy, and appreciate having everything I have ever dreamed of, and not to take it for granted. After all, you can't fully be grateful for what you have unless you have been without. So, for that, I am thankful. I am thankful that the universe was wise enough to take away my space, my freedom and my security, so that I may fully appreciate it when it returns. After all, happiness is not the greatest blessing, gratefulness for what you have is.
I urge you all to look around and take stock of what you are grateful for. These things may not make you happy every day, and sometimes they may frustrate you to no end. But, at the end of the day, these things are what make our lives full and rich, and weave the complicated tapestry
that is our life. Your children may drive you crazy and make you pull out your hair, but they give you a reason to get up every morning, and every time they kiss you, hug you or tell you they love you, you realize why God put you on this earth. You may sweat and stress over making your monthly mortgage payment every month, but your home is what keeps you warm and holds your family close to one another every day. And you may hate your job or want to punch your boss in the face, but that job you despise allows you to put food and wine on the table so you may eat, drink and be merry with the ones you love.
Don't forget. Appreciate. Breathe in your life, hold it in and allow it to nourish your heart.