Christmas has always been a difficult time of year for me. I don’t think I’m unusual in this aspect. If you grew up with a challenging childhood experience, sometimes that means – without effort – the holiday remains something other than positive. Sometimes it has been bleak. I have finally begun to understand that Christmas, much like life, is what you make of it.
This past year has been a great challenge for me. I have weaned myself off of an addicting drug, finished my master’s thesis, completed a novel (not a very good one but it is finished), returned to the classroom to teach, worked diligently on becoming a more positive person, and kept my general sanity in the process. I have been a grandmother and helped where I could, created and stayed with a few projects at our small business, and tried to exercise on a semi-regular basis. I made it through and am now beginning to be cautiously excited for 2013.
I will be teaching two classes in the spring, possibly three with a tentative online course looming out there, completing a grant writing course and attempting my first grant writing experiences, trying to begin yoga, taking a creative writing course, and continuing to work on my positive thought process.
For our Christmas season, we have done a few new things; visited two groups of new friends at their homes for drop-ins, going to the Grove Park Inn for Christmas Day dinner, and had my husband’s parents and sister here for a couple of days to celebrate their 70th Anniversary (yes, I said 70th) and simply to spend time with them during the holiday season. They are in their nineties, and still mentally vibrant. My sister-in-law has been an incredible daughter, taking good and consistent care of them. I am quite proud of her. I will be revisiting a friendship that had disappeared during the year, and hoping to be a wise enough person to understand that friendships are much more important than anything I harbor in my misguided brain. I hope that’s part of the new, more positive thinking woman who I am working on becoming me.
I plan to write in this blog once a week. It is amazing how much good it does for me whether anyone else ever reads it or not. If you have something that makes you feel great to do, please try to fit it into your schedule. You do deserve it, and so do I.
I have many people who love me. I’m very fortunate in that aspect. There are times in my life when I have been less than love-able. And I have many I love. There too, I am fortunate.
2013 looks greatly promising. I am hoping that is true for you as well. Regardless of what you face in the next few months, be it a health issue, financial pressures, relationship struggles – or simply good things coming up in your life – I gently suggest that you do so with grace, compassion, and positive thoughts. You may already do that, and if so, please share how you developed that attitude. Many of us would love to emulate you. But if you don’t, do your best to surround yourself with people who do. It really makes a difference. Read all the positive things you can. Research websites that offer you worksheets which may help you to begin changing your thought processes. Two that come to mind are the works of Byron Katie at http://www.thework.com/index.php and Dr. Michael Ryce at http://www.whyagain.com/default.php.
This Christmas has been rather lonely because I don’t have many of those who are usually here with us. They are living their lives and being the people I hoped they would grow up to be. But that doesn’t mean that Christmas can’t be warm and lovely. It does mean I have to change my expectations of what Christmas is. Next year, I plan to be on a trip seeing something new for Christmas. That may become what Christmas is for me. Go see something new and find new friends with whom to celebrate. I hope that you have made the season special for you. If not, I hope that you can start on the road to making it so for next year. It is what you make it. Let’s make it good.