Or so the song goes. This is a difficult time for a lot people, including me. It’s all that hype to be happy. But for me, there is no big happy, extended family to visit or be visited from. There are no longer a plethora of holiday parties to attend or people to reminisce with on how great last year was, or the year before. There’s no smell of fresh pine from a tree sitting in my lavish high ceiling living room, with each ornament telling a story or enhancing the memory of one.
It is dark, cold and lonely and the more I watch television or overhear people talking about the gifts they bought and their wonderful friends and family they’re planning to see, the more despondent I feel. I hear no laughter coming from my rooms. I see no festive lights, except for the clear, white ones I strung myself, outside on the large Pine at the suggestion of my neighbor, so it’s not pitch black.
There are no cozy, warm feelings. The Norman Rockwell picture doesn’t exist where I am, mentally or physically. It really doesn’t exist for anyone else I know either. There is no glow.
Right now, I am removed from year round community. This was by choice, but it is remote and can intensify the isolation and feelings of separation. I live in a beautiful, calm beach community, which mostly closes down in Winter. I love the peace, the beauty, the simplicity of nature. But.. when all around me, I feel the pressure to be happy and grateful, I recoil. I resent it. I have watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” looking for my inspiration. It is my holiday ritual. I feel as though the holidays can’t happen without George Bailey.
I bought 2 dozen chocolate bars for the homeless to hand out in the city. I’ll end up there on Christmas day. It will make me feel as though I am doing something positive. Just my part to hopefully help someone else. It’s a small gesture. Perhaps it will bring a little smile to someone. Maybe they’ll feel someone cares, because I do. If nothing else, they’ll get a sugar high, as fleeting as it may be.
I’ve had too many losses this time of year. Too many friends, family and loved ones have died within weeks of each other. It makes me sad. I miss them. And it all feels amplified by the cold and it getting dark by 4:30. Thank God for the Winter solstice. It’s the about face. Heading back towards the light.
I do find gratitude seeping in though. Bit by bit. It’s not for anything rich, but for the most basic things in my life. There’s always someone less and more fortunate than you. It’s good to be thankful for what you do have. Today I have a roof over my head, food in the refrigerator, heat, electricity, good friends, family and my health. Sometimes it’s that simple.
I have big plans for the New Year. I wish it would hurry and get here. I’m in transition. I am trending towards a new chapter. I have changed my focus. I can’t wait to wake up on New Year’s day and start over. Start new. This will be my year. I know it will. It will be special. It will bring me joy and bear the fruit of all my labor.
I say this every year. I figure, sooner or later, the universe will hear me and comply. If I use this as my mantra, maybe I’ll really start to believe it. And if I can believe it and imagine it, it’s possible. It can happen. So there, enough with the dismal thoughts and bah humbug. I guess in the big picture, I do have faith after all.
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First and foremost, I'm a baby boomer and damn proud of it. The ones reading this post survived. Some didn't..We are the generation that crashed through barriers, broke through the norm and made our own rules. We paved the way for others to follow their bliss. One of the largest breakthroughs was probably equal rights and opportunities for women. Thank you Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. We burned our bras, well, most of us did. We marched against politics we didn't believe in, staged protests not knowing we could easily be silenced by a bullet, experimented with drugs, meditation and guru's. We traveled with backpacks across the country and throughout the world..We had a voice. We had a choice. We had a mission. We had freedom and we were united. I am a writer, traveler, explorer, observer and participant in life. I am part of the expansion of baby boomers who still believe in the original message of peace and love. Take this journey.with me. Who knows where it will take us next ?
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