Archives for posts with tag: have yourself a merry

I “slept in” – for some values of that expression – and woke to a rainy rather mild winter morning. I made a point to go to the store one last time, yesterday, hoping to enjoy the entire holiday weekend at home without venturing into retail spaces at all. I made this excellent coffee which I continue to sip on, now. There is holiday music playing in the background, with a warm, cozy holiday café scene as a backdrop on my monitor. No children live in our home – I’ve still got NORAD’s “Santa Tracker” up, where I can see that famous fat man in red flying around the globe in a sleigh pulled by reindeer (somehow, it still “makes sense” to me that this is even a thing! lol). Giftmas at home.

So merry

…Giftmas. At home. So many moments lead to this one, now, and I feel content, merry, and wrapped in love. My Traveling Partner woke around the time I did. It’s a lovely morning. So far, every detail of the holiday is just delightful, and seems lavish and rich in keeping with childhood expectations of the season, without actually being costly, or built on unaffordable excess. It’s just… pleasant. We took a modest approach to the holidays this year to focus more on longer-term goals. You know that pandemic thing? Yeah, that’s still going on, too – so the thing we’d likely both like most to do more of, which would be socializing in various settings, maybe having a holiday dinner or a party, these are all things that are pretty much not on the menu for us. We’re still masking any time we go out (or answer the door), and practicing fairly strict social distancing – we’re definitely not ready to invite a mob of friends over to party. Not yet. Hell, we haven’t even had a housewarming party yet, or had my partner’s brother over (who lives rather close, a couple towns up the road).

…As content as I am to spend time alone, or with only my partner for company, I am also “feeling the pandemic” as it wears on, month after month. Funny how much life we’ve lived in spite of that, and how much we’ve gotten done. lol I miss friends, though. I take a minute imagining how much harder it may be on my partner, who is much more social. He’s pretty much stuck with “just me” for company day-to-day. I doubt that he finds that boring – but it probably gets super annoying, sometimes. Maybe lonely, too.

Holidays aren’t always so easy as this one. I feel fortunate, and grateful. I think about other Giftmases, some long past, some even quite horrible, others so magical as to become defining moments in how I celebrate the season, even to this day.

When I was a kid, I didn’t really “get” how much actual work my parents both put into making Christmases magical for us. I mean it was pretty hardcore stuff that I only learned later; late nights into the wee hours assembling various “some assembly required” items – like my first bicycle, one year. Mornings no doubt came far too early for them, with eager kids waking nearer to 5 a.m. than to sunrise. When we were little, even the tree itself was part of the magic; it sat in a bucket of water for a handful of days, on the porch, and I truly believed then that it was part of Santa’s work to put up the tree, and decorate it – because for a couple years (at least) that’s how it all went down; no tree when we went to bed, and a world transformed on Christmas morning. Wow. The wonder still saturates my memories. That is some difficult shit to live up to! LOL It’s no wonder my Mom’s first thought on Christmas morning was coffee.

One year, Santa deviated from his usual routine. I must have been around… 9? (Sisters at 6 and at 3 years then.) I woke early on Christmas morning – super early – and there was… something heavy on my legs. I quietly turned on my light and discovered my Christmas stocking was there, at the foot of my bed! OMG OMG! Santa had come!! I went to my parent’s bedroom and tried to wake my Dad and tell him… he woke only enough, and only long enough, to tell me to “go back to bed for a little while” and that I could open my stocking quietly, and enjoy that. “Santa must have known your Mom and I want to sleep in a bit.” (“Sleep in” my ass; they’d probably just barely dropped off to sleep at that point! LOL) So, I did go back to my bed, and crawled back into the warm blankets. I started joyfully exploring the sweets and toys in my stocking as quietly as I could; it was stuffed almost to bursting. My sister woke minutes later, and came into my room (seeing the light under the door, probably) and excitedly told me about their stockings, on their beds, too. I passed on the encouragement to enjoy those, in bed. I think we were all still happily playing, nibbling chocolates, and enjoying our quiet holiday when my parents woke later (still properly early, but closer to something like 7 a.m.). It was splendid! It happened that way every year after. For me, it made stockings singularly important to the holiday in a whole new way.

Thanks for the magic, Mom & Dad. I haven’t forgotten.

Santa’s flying over Pakistan, apparently. This cup of coffee is almost gone. The rain continues to fall. Merry Giftmas. Here’s wishing you the happiest of holidays, however you choose to celebrate.

I’m sipping my Monday-morning-before-work coffee, and contemplating the days preceding this moment. Festive. Lovely. Warmed-through with loving intentions. Merry. So very merry. 🙂 I will admit to lower-than-average expectations – I mean, seriously, there’s a pandemic going on, and American politics are a disappointing ethical shambles presently, and I could every bit as easily have found myself focused on all that mess, instead of the delightful holiday interlude I shared with my Traveling Partner. I chose to focus on the holidays at hand, though, and the outcome was precious and will be cherished for the lifetime ahead. 🙂

…So merry…

Gifts were opened. Coffees and sweets and jokes were shared. Holiday tunes played in the background. I took winter walks along muddy lanes (rain here, no snow). Texts and emails were sent to family and friends (cards were mailed, probably too late to arrive in advance of the holiday). Cookies were baked. Recipes were tried. We reminisced over old times, good times, other times. It was a sweet and romantic connected holiday for two, in The Time of Pandemic. We didn’t go out. We didn’t have friends over. The car has the same gas in the tank it did more than a week ago. lol Sweet strange little holiday that managed to make my “top ten” lifetime fantastic holidays. 🙂

I feel fortunate. I sip my coffee smiling this morning. Half days in the office this week… I’m not expected until later on. Ample time to write… and to read. Maybe to paint? Do some housekeeping. 🙂 One life being lived.

My Traveling Partner woke minutes after I did, this morning. We both seem to be sleeping very well lately. We’re both less grumpy in the mornings as a result. It’s nice. I make room in my thoughts for a moment of compassion and understanding that it can be difficult not to be grumpy when one wakes in pain, and starts the day fairly certain that it’s not going to change. I consider my physical wellness this morning; I am in less pain because I am more well-rested? Maybe. It’s important to be mindful and note any changes in that sort of thing. Allowing implicit memory to smooth out changes that could indicate improvements (and it will) can make it difficult to enjoy and live a reality of less pain… I mean… I’m not going to be able to enjoy what I am not aware of, right? 🙂

Solstice…Giftmas…then, New Year’s… 2020 is almost over. It is an ending layered with more than typical meaning and significance for many people. What will we do with the opportunity ahead to make 2021 more meaningful and significant for ourselves, our families, our community, and for the world? What will I do with that opportunity?

…Then again (and also true), it’s just another change of day-month-year on an arbitrary calendar. It could be any day. It could be any moment – we can each choose to begin again when we will. That’s pretty powerful stuff. 😀 (Does tend to leave us without excuses, though, for why we have not embraced an important change we know we need to make for ourselves.) S’okay. We’ve got a few more days to consider the new year ahead. 🙂

It’s time to begin again. How will we change the world?

This weekend I didn’t chase anything, didn’t force anything, didn’t insist on anything, didn’t apply pressure to myself, my experience, or my time. I suppose I could have. I could have gotten very stressed out about finding just exactly the perfect finishing touch Giftmas gift for my traveling partner, and blown my weekend on an unhealthy bit of hysterics when inclement weather messed with my plans. I could have held on to an assortment of assumptions and expectations of the weekend, and found myself facing Sunday with bitter regret – for both the things that did not happen, and the behavior that did. I didn’t do those things.

Instead, I allowed the weekend to simply take its course, embracing events as they occurred, and making the proverbial lemonade where lemons seem to have been provided…although…sitting here sipping on a tangerine mocha, made with fresh-squeezed tangerine juice from tiny sweet juicy tangerines so perfectly ripe they were not going to keep over days of eating, it’s hard to taste lemons. I made a fire in my fireplace, last night. I made another today, and contentedly kept it going through the gray rainy afternoon; it crackles in the background now. It’s been a weekend of contentment and satisfaction. It’s been lovely in spite of the rain.

Welcome in my own experience.

Welcome in my own experience.

The weekend is almost over, and a new work week unfolds ahead of me – the last before the Giftmas holiday. I’ll be out of the office for a few days (the week of Giftmas), and for a few days the next week, too. I pause, for a moment very aware how badly I really need this rest. I recognize that I am tired on a number of levels. This was an emotional year with a lot of complexity and change, and there is much to consider about the year to come. For now, I am content with contentment and that is enough. I sip on my mocha, making a mental note to finishing putting away the laundry that finished up just before dinner. Dishes, too. A box by the front door is my reminder in the morning to take it to the recycling bin; it arrived late in they day, during the pouring rain, and I didn’t take it straight out as I ordinarily might.

I've been very busy relaxing.

I’ve been very busy relaxing.

The evening is a quiet one. The lifestyle, too, is a quiet one. I’m not sure I knew sooner that this is what would suit me so well, when I looked ahead from many years younger. The mundane details aren’t dull to live; it’s peculiarly difficult to describe the luxury of hot laundry pressed to my chest as I dash back to my apartment in the rain, or the deep-down relaxation of finishing yoga and relaxing with my feet near the fire… just… relaxing, head back, gazing into the lights of the Giftmas tree… or emoji smiles and kisses from a partner I know is busy with other things, but values me such that taking the time is worth it, throughout the day.

This is a quiet life, and rich in excitement, delight, pleasure, contentment, joy, wonder…and moments of pure humanity; the difficult bits provide perspective, and comparison – reminders not to take what is so good for granted, not even for a moment. So… I enjoy the quiet weekend wholly and without reservations or concern, or trying to make it something more… or something less. More and more I am finding poetry in the ordinary, and lifetimes of love in moments of joy. Yes, there are verbs involved, and practice. I’m okay with that; I’m okay right now.

Small details are meaningful when we take time to notice them; small pleasures can fulfill our needs when we take time to enjoy them.

Small details are meaningful when we take time to notice them; small pleasures can fulfill our needs when we take time to enjoy them.

I don’t think I’ll chase anything today. Living life is enough.

 

I’m feeling a bit unsocial this morning. The disrupted sleep and short nights are becoming an aggravation. I woke this morning thinking I’d slept enough…until sounds of life and the world at daybreak began to encroach upon my fragile consciousness. It’s not that bad, it’s been worse and I’ll get by just fine once I’m awake, my medication has kicked in for real, and I’ve had my coffee. Saying that, and really meaning it, I recognize for a fleeting moment how far I’ve come and what a big deal self-acceptance and self-compassion can be.

I’m enjoying evenings sharing favorite animation with my family. Some of them, one or the other of us as seen at some point before, and like so many things there is tremendous joy and fun in sharing them. Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, and TriGun are on the menu lately, and I enjoy them all – and rarely find myself particularly aware of other lives, other experiences, and other people with whom I watched them until some quiet moment to reflect reminds me of them, and of then.

My traveling partner interrupts ever so briefly with a frothy cup full of love a tasty latte. There’s something extra wonderful and yummy about unexpected treats, trinkets, and gifts. Yesterday, shortly after arriving home, I was playfully advised that a package at the door for me was really for me, and please don’t wait to open it… It turned out to be a really neat fun cookie tray for baking sugar cookies and such into holiday shapes! (It is clear the holiday baking of the weekend was very well received. lol) I love the holiday season. It often seems that at this time of year everyone tries just a little bit harder to be more like the best person they imagine themselves to be, really putting their best qualities out there for the world. It’s lovely.

A latte. A quiet morning. I am content in this precious moment. What the next holds for me is yet unknown, and that, too, is quite okay. Small details matter, and cherishing these lovely moments, however insignificant they may seem, is by far the best gift I am giving myself this year.

Love is my lighthouse.

Love is my lighthouse.

Today is a good day to embrace each pleasant moment long enough to truly value it, to savor it, to make it memorable. Today is a good day to recognize the simple beauty of small joys. Today is a good day to be content. Today is a good day to help when I can. Today is a good day to change the world.