I love making new wonderful memories. I also enjoy smiles. This year’s Yule holiday had plenty of both. Quite a nice holiday. If I were still a child I would excitedly list off ‘all the things I got’, and it would be a short – and very satisfying – list. The best gift this year was unquestionably the good company, the low stress level, and the ease with which events and time flowed. A lovely holiday. I’m still smiling.

I'm still smiling...so is this thing. :-)

I’m still smiling…so is this thing. 🙂

One of the most delightful things about this year’s holiday is the strange stuffed animal one of my partners gave me this year. It was perched on the sofa, in the evening, unexpectedly. Its big happy smile has, since then, reliably evoked my own smile. It speaks to me beyond the mechanical “Merry Christmas” message it plays when I push it’s button. Big wide-open eyes, a friendly approachable smile…I have realized more than once since it showed up that I was carrying it about the house with me. lol. The simple delight of a smile is hard to overstate.

This year really wasn’t about ‘stuff’*. This year was also one of the most lovely winter holidays I’ve enjoyed. Good fun and good company, and it rather seemed as if everyone brought the very best bits of who they are.

I looked over my ‘Best of 2013’ results on my Facebook profile. Wow. A year of growth, of change, and so much to cherish and be grateful for. I am struck by how much there is to enjoy in life, even at the toughest times. I’m grateful for so many opportunities to grow, and to be heard.

Soon enough the year with end, and the New Year will commence – with or without fanfare, time passes. Time – so much and so little of it. I hope I am able to use what I have wisely.

This morning I hurt. I’ve a headache and a stuffy head. My arthritis is making me stiff, and I feel grumpy listening to the ‘snap crack pop’ and crunch of arthritic bones as I slowly work on regaining my mobility for another day. I slept badly. Really badly. I think back on yesterday and wonder… did I really have 4 quad lattes yesterday? Did I really have one of them past 4:00 pm? Am I really surprised that I didn’t sleep well? The house seems noisy, although I don’t find anything specific to pinpoint as noisier or louder than usual. I have an appointment and I am up earlier than I need or want to be. I’m hormonal and cross with the world, and vaguely resentful to also be aware that it is all pretty inconsequential stuff.  None of this has to be any more important right now than words on a page. I could choose to escalate my irritation to ire, and perhaps from there to anger or even rage… really, though, I’d rather not. It’s managing to be a pleasant enough morning in spite of pain, fatigue, and hormones, as I sit here in the quiet with my coffee.

I find myself wondering about ‘is’.  This lovely morning could be so easily derailed with a few poor choices. ‘Is’ it a good day – or a bad day? How much of that do I really choose, on any given day, at any given moment? What is the difference – really – between a day when I hurt, and hurting doesn’t matter, and a day when I hurt that becomes a day when all that matters is the pain I can’t seem to escape? Is it ‘choice’? What are the choices that make the difference?

So many of us struggle with so much… and I often see people dear to me struggling, and want to say ‘choose differently!’, but even in the moment I recognize these are not helpful words to hear, however helpful taking the action of making difference choices might be.

This morning I am looking for opportunities to make choices that have more desirable outcomes. Today I am learning to be more compassionate with myself, and less judgmental. Today, I am asking good questions and enjoying the beauty offered in each moment. Today I am changing the world.


*I did get some very cool “stuff” this year, though, and I would not want to diminish the thoughtful generosity of my loves this year.  They obviously know my heart.  I even stepped a little further into the 21st century by embracing eBooks at long last. 🙂