Don't Say Merry Christmas and Other Year End Reflections...
The year is coming to a close; the holidays are at an end. Perhaps we can all give a sigh of relief that 2017 is just about over. (Did ANYONE have a good year? If so, let me hear from you. We could ALL use some good news.) This year is NOT ending as I had anticipated or expected. However, I am full of hope for 2018 and perhaps you are too.
As 2017 wraps up, I have a few thoughts (don't I always) that I wanted to share:
- Can't we get past this "war on Christmas" (which is BS in my book) and the focus on Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays? I have to wonder why we say either as it seems with this fierce fighting over which one to say brings little meaning to either phrase. We might do better in 2018 if we stopped SAYING Merry Christmas and instead acted more Christ-like...which does NOT mean we have to be Christian. (Although it certainly wouldn't hurt; we could use more Christians who actually followed the teachings of Christ rather than just espousing scripture to fit their needs.)
- Can we pass on judgement and replace it with compassion? Judging is easy. It doesn't take much thought which may be why we (and I include myself in the universal "we") do it so often. But if we could act with compassion; try to look at a person or situation from another angle, not only would this world be a better place, but we could be better people and FEEL better too. (And don't we all need to feel better?)
- Speaking of feeling better, shouldn't we try to take better care of ourselves? Not easy, I know, but YOU are the most important resource YOU have. As a mother, wife and daughter, I have a lot to worry about and take care of, but I need to remember and focus on taking care of ME! If I'm not healthy, how am I going to be able to take care of everyone else? The airlines have it right (for once?), you put the oxygen mask over your own face first, THEN you take care of others. Do what's right for YOU, the rest will fall into place if you do.
- Taking care doesn't mean NOT indulging some times. Kids need to study, but they also need to play. Adults need to work, but they also need to play...it's just that adult play is different than kids play. (Although it doesn't have to be...when was the last time you jumped on the swings or played tag just for the hell of it? It just might be the refreshment that you need!) A good life is a balanced life. In my book that means that a little alcohol and chocolate is a good thing. Too much alcohol and chocolate is a BAD thing. (As the scale has told me time and again!) We should do the "right" things (exercise, eat right, etc.), but we also need time to treat ourselves and indulge. Those things also might be "good/right" (like a massage) or they might be "bad/wrong" (having a couple of glasses of wine). Enjoy a full life...a life of balance.
- No matter how "bad" things may seem, our lives ARE full of blessings. We just need to take the time to notice them. Personal story...I unexpectedly spent the past few days with my parents. This is NOT a bad thing, but the reason for my visit was not good. My mom had a cardiac event (NOT a heart attack; now there's a blessing) and the following day my father was scheduled for outpatient surgery. Although the reason for my visit was "bad" being with them was a blessing. I got to spend time with them that I wouldn't have. I had to take time off from my normal routine and do some new things. Cooking a meal and doing shopping for them was a pleasure; although it wouldn't have been doing so for myself. Spending time at the NJ shore during the winter gave me a chance to see all the natural beauty that the season brings to the area. (Snow on the beach? The bay iced over? Something I had never seen in my 50+ years on this planet.) Even the time I spent in the waiting area of the hospital turned into a minor blessing, as I was asked to write a piece about my favorite books for 2017: http://www.myveronanj.com/2017/12/30/best-books-read-2017/. No matter how dark it may seem, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Even when the light is dim and far away; it IS there.
While I am happy to usher out 2017 this evening; I am grateful for all the good things that the year did have to offer.