It’s the holiday break from work, and I’ve got a couple of weeks at the end of the year to get some needed down time, celebrate the holidays, and invest my time in my own needs and agenda for a few precious days. Time to share with loved ones. Time to meditate. Time to explore the world within – or the world beyond these walls and windows. Time for me. Time for love. It’s a great idea…isn’t it?

Being home for the holidays holds so much promise, so much potential…so much risk. Yep. Risk, too. Risk of drama, risk of disappointment, risk of ‘failure’…and all of that self-selected and self-imposed. It’s easy to get attached to a particular idea, a particular dream of holiday magic, and find myself disappointed, not in the moment, but overall – having invested too much in a pretty daydream, and failing to enjoy the precious moment that is.  I sometimes also get hung up on what was, and what wasn’t; that’s just the chaos and damage, leaking through to now.

I sing holiday carols – I love most of them, the heartfelt yearning, the love, the wonder, the sentiment. I sing along with them and feel.  There are a few that always make me weep; I am grieving, in some cases, feelings I don’t have for myself, or crying because what is real can sometimes hurt so much. One of my favorite emotional holiday carols is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas“, an old WWII era carol. The homesick sorrow of soldiers on the battlefield, missing their loved ones and the safety of a holiday at home…it’s not why I cry. I cry when I hear/sing that carol because I don’t have that home to go back to; it’s an empty promise. It’s spelled out in the song, too… “I’ll be home for Christmas…if only in my dreams…” Yes. I will also be home for Christmas, every year, no matter what…if only in my dreams. What do you feel when you think of ‘home’? Where is that place for you? Is it a geographical location, or the companionship of a specific other person? Is it a place, or a place in your heart?

I do have a very clear idea of what these holidays feel like, and I’ve been ‘home for the holidays’ on a level that amounted to ‘proof of concept’ more than once. It remains an experience of rare heart and beauty, and great sentiment. The price of admission is feeling the feelings, and being with others who share them. It’s called ‘the magic of Christmas’ because the experience of it is not a given, and it is an experience worth cherishing, nurturing, and savoring.

This morning is an ordinary enough Tuesday morning, I guess. I was wakened earlier than I wanted to be awake by the sounds of doors, voices, laundry… I looked at the clock, stunned to see all that going on at such an early hour, on a day I expected the house to be rather quiet. Morning appointments trump sleeping in.  This morning I find myself recognizing that this particular desire to ‘sleep until I wake’ isn’t so easily fulfilled, the logistics are complicated, and require a shared commitment that is lacking, and the frustration and disappointment of failing to find my way to the quality of sleep and rest I am seeking is becoming its own thing. Time to let it go, I guess; it’s not worth being irritated about not achieving it. “Enough sleep” will have to be enough.

I’m in pain, again today. I’m in enough pain that Rx pain relief doesn’t do much to relieve the pain, just dulls it somewhat and renders it manageable. I’m in enough pain to be uncomfortable to be around, for people sensitive to that sort of thing; it’s just too obvious that I am uncomfortable. I’m in enough pain to struggle to manage my mood, and my temper. Yoga doesn’t take away the pain, but it does make movement easier, and a bit less uncomfortable moment to moment. Everyday pain has become so every day at this point it is now a challenge to remember a time when I didn’t hurt like this, although wisdom and intellect tell me that such a point of view is flawed and inaccurate. I have hurt like this, in winter, for years now. It always sucks just this much.

home for the  holidays...

home for the holidays…

Home for the holidays – the adult version; I know what I want, I know that it is ‘real’, and I know I can’t have it. What I can have is still a wonderful holiday, still worthy, still filled with joy; there are verbs involved, and a certain level of adult acceptance – and self-acceptance – are required, and perhaps ‘some assembly’. We can’t always get what we want… Today is a good day to celebrate the holidays that are, with the people who are here.