Friday, December 21, 2012

Joy in the mundane.

Like many of you, I've had a lot on my mind this week. It's hard to feel spirited in the midst of a national tragedy when it seems like the world is completely f-ed up and spinning out of control. But as a wise hobbit once said, "There's still good in the world, and it's worth fighting for."

To wit:

Music. Puppies. Kittens. Fat little squirmy babies. Lunch with friends. Music. Holding hands. Melty cheese. Champagne. Napping on the couch on a Sunday afternoon. Music. Dancing like a fool till you hurt all over. Tacky Christmas decorations. New adventures. Have I mentioned music already? Iced mocha. Foot rubs. Sunshine. Soft green grass. The moon in the sky. Wind chimes. Making stuff with your own hands. Hats. Sleeping late. Old movies. Walking barefoot on the beach. Reading to a child. Learning a new skill. Teaching someone a new skill. Random kindness from strangers. Otters. Hot homemade bread. A bra that actually fits. Cute shoes. Music. Wine. Homebrew. Hugh Jackman. Art museums. Double rainbows. Lilacs in bloom.  Peace, love, and understanding. True friends who have your back. Unconditional love. I did mention music, right?

There is joy in the mundane, although sometimes it is admittedly hard to find. You may just have to look a little harder, but I promise it's there.

I want to leave you with a link to a story about finding joy in simplicity. Maybe you've heard it before, maybe you haven't, but give it a listen either way: John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story.

Till next time, try finding the good that's still worth fighting for.

Friday, December 14, 2012

What I want for Christmas.

I read the news today, oh boy. . . I mean. . . I just. . . there's nothing I can say.

I don't have any children, on purpose, but there are children in my life who I love like they were my own. We have a reasonable expectation that our kids will be safe at school, of all places, but apparently they aren't anymore. This was never a concern when I was an elementary school kid in the 70s, and I'm deeply saddened that 40 years later, it's at the forefront of our thoughts. It breaks my heart.

It's not right. Children shouldn't have to worry that they'll go to school in the morning and never come home.

Today, what I want most for Christmas is just for our next generation to be safe. They shouldn't have to live in fear. None of us should.

Till next time ---- if you love somebody, tell them, dammit.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ah, the holidays.

I confess I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. I love the music, and the decorations, and the food, and the socializing, but being the introvert that I am, all that socializing WEARS ME OUT, and then I have little motivation (or time) to do my own holiday decorating/crafting/cooking/whatever. And as much as I try to plan ahead, every year about this time it's WHENDIDITGETTOBEDECEMBERWHAAARRGAAARBL, which is where I am right now. The house is a mess (normal) and we haven't even brought the decorations or wrapping paper up from the basement. Maybe next week.

Christmas cards? I'm working on it. Last year we didn't send any because we were preoccupied with our new puppy, who was at the doggie hospital with parvo. (Yay, us.) Luna survived and is now a little cuddle-monkey who wants to jump up on the sofa with me anytime I sit down to start working on things like Christmas cards. I usually make my own because I can't stand the sappy greetings on commercially made cards: "May the childhood joys of the Christmas season be yours now and always." Who talks like that?

And then there's all the fuss about what to call it. Some people insist on "Christmas," others insist on "holidays," and people like me don't really care. To me it's always Christmas, but I don't get bent out of shape over "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings." I call it what I call it, and you call it what you call it, and it's all good as far as I'm concerned. If you want to wish me a Happy Hanukkah, I'm good with that too. How hard is it to accept someone's good will in the spirit in which it's given?

People always complain about the overcommercialization of Christmas, but nobody really does much about it. We all still shop, and I'm as guilty as anyone. I do give a lot of homemade gifts, but not everyone is into that (which I think is WRONG, but that's a whole nother story). I'm at the point where I don't really want anything for myself. I already have too much stuff that I'm trying to get rid of. And if any of you think the bastardization of Christmas is a new thing, let me direct you to the words of this carol from the 1600s. Yes, I said 1600s: Christmas Is My Name .

Christmas is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and I think that's okay. Regardless of whether  or not you celebrate it as a religious holiday, it can still be a time of reflection and fellowship, goodwill and charity. And really, shouldn't we celebrate those things all year? There's always room for peace, love, and understanding.

Till next time --- don't let the holidays drive you crazy. Namaste.