Tuesday, December 25, 2007


As I sit here Christmas morning while the rest of the house is still asleep, I realize how fortunate I truly am. OK...there is that snarky little credit card issue that rivals the national debt, but grading on the curve, I am extremely fortunate. I have two amazing kids who are beautiful, healthy and who I adore. I think they like me just as much...well...generally they do. I have a mom who's health could probably use a pick me up, but she makes us laugh...and we her. I have a good job and great friends. Although life isn't perfect, it is all pretty good and I am blessed.

There is a cup of hazelnut coffee at my side. I am toasty warm in new jammies and a chenille blanket wrapped around my toes. Surf and turf is waiting for us at dinner. Santa's presents are the only gifts under the tree since Kat and Adam opened most of their gifts last night. White lights and ornaments adorn our tree. Some ornaments are our standards...others newly added this year. The moment is peaceful. Although I love Christmas and look forward to the day, I can't help feeling a little blue.

This year has flown by in a blink. In 2008 I really need to learn how to savor the moments. In my mind, flashes of 2007 memories pop into my head. Many of them are moments from the year when I didn't stop to savor what was happening. One that comes to mind is trying to take the perfect shot of Kat as she received her diploma only to have the camera malfunction and me miss the moment completely. I have a picture of a blur. There were also times taken for granted which slipped away like sand in a sieve. My arrogance thought there would be other opportunities, or moments to savor. I want to reach back and grab them and hold tight, but its too late. The moments are gone.

Sometimes along with the moment, people leave too. One of my fatal flaws is that I rarely stop to smell the roses. I am always moving on to the next "thing". It could be the whole prickly ADHD thing we discovered this year, but even on meds I tend to just keep spinning my wheels. (Remember the Flintstones when they had a prehistoric squirrel on a wheel running kitchen appliances and lawn tools? That is me on a daily basis.) Kat told me the other day I was like the energizer bunny. She's right.

A very wise woman suggested that I remember to stay present on Christmas. Take in the moments. Enjoy my children. Enjoy the day. Even if I have to stop and remind myself, that is what I plan to do.

The month of December is always so busy for me. Not that everyone else isn't. It's just my busiest time of year at the office and then add the craziness of the holidays, I forget to enjoy the season. So today and starting this day forward I plan to live in the moment. Not take people or things for granted. If there is joy to be found take it in. Love to share - share it. Don't think that just because someone is here today means that they will be here tomorrow. I'm not talking about death, although that too is a very real possibility. My friend, Maggie, told me about receiving an email from a friend of ours stating he decided to move to California. He never said goodbye - he just moved. He sent the email after he was already settled. Poof. He was gone.

Maggie also is spending this holiday with someone who means a lot to her. He flew in on Sunday and is flying home tomorrow. Poof - he is here. Poof - he will be gone. I'm sure that after he flies home it will seem extremely surreal for both of them. Were they really together this Christmas? It will be such a brief visit that it will probably be more like a dream. One thing I know for sure, Maggie is someone who never takes moments, or life events, for granted. She is quite sage and one of the calmest women I ever met. She knows to savor the time they have together because they will be separated all too soon.

I've had too many poof moments this year. I want/need to relax. Enjoy the day. The event. The moment. I want to lie on the couch at dusk and watch the snow fall. Not think about where I should be, or what needs to be done. Just be. Last January there was such a moment. I was lying on someone's couch watching a brand new blanket of snow fall around. It was dusk and the sky was a Cerulean blue with big fat fluffy snow flakes floating everywhere. It was beautiful to watch and I was content to be snuggly warm under a blanket and watch the snow. And just be. I hadn't felt that calm or peaceful in more years than I care to admit. It was a perfect moment. As content as I was, because I wasn't home, in the back of my brain I felt the need to leave that sanctuary and be the responsible parent. I "knew" I would have a moment similar to experience again. I was wrong. The moment I stood up...POOF...it was gone...and a similar moment never again materialized.

Lesson learned.

Living the moment is so important. Therefore, if in a conversation, I need to be actively participating, not thinking of 50 other things at once. I want to be present for my family, friends - all the people I truly care about. I don't want to poof. I've poofed too much in my life.

What this truly means is that I need to relax. I am always reacting to what life throws my way. I need to be an active participant in my life. That may sound weird to any of you reading this, but honestly, I spend the majority of my life reacting to others. Maybe in order to live in the moment, I need to stop reacting and start participating in what is happening around me.

The one thing I have done this season to start and end my day is to sit by my tree. With all the other lights out in the room, the only illumination comes from our tree lights. While I sit, there is either a cup of coffee/tea, or a glass of wine in hand to sip and reflect while I soak up its simple beauty. Sitting and enjoying our tree is my little slice of heaven. Occasionally, when I walk down the steps to the living room, I stop mid stair and just take in the moment of my tree.

So I AM learning to relax. In another week our tree will be gone. After we take it down, I'm not sure what my new ritual will be. I could actually attempt baths. I have always been more of a shower person, but this could be my new endeavor. I once had a roommate, Gail, who LOVED baths. That girl could soak for hours! She is more of a type A personality than I am, yet she knew how to relax. I'd try the bath thing on occasion, glass of wine in hand, candle and a book. The pages would get wet, the water cold and I'd get crabby. That was then. Since after the first of the year, I won't have my tree to aid in my relaxation and I did receive a few spa essentials for Christmas this might be the year to try it all over again. Hmmm...I wonder.

This writing has taken a completely different vain than I initially planned. I no longer remember what my plan was. This all just rather spilled out. And as usual, I'm not sure how to end my writing.

So, to anyone reading this, remember to enjoy whatever you are doing at the moment. Be present. Actively participate in what is happening around you. Do not take life, or the people around you, for granted. They may not be here tomorrow for a variety of reasons.

I think I just received my favorite Christmas gift before anyone has woken up - the knowledge and the wisdom to enjoy this day, the people I am with, as well as the friends and family that I will not see today and the memory of the people no longer in our lives. To all of you - Merry Christmas!!! Enjoy your day. Love those with you and those you wish were with you.


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