Happy Christmas, as they say in England. It’s very early in the a.m. here. I couldn’t sleep. Not because I was excited to see what Santa had left me, because I know there’s nothing. He didn’t stop here. he had more important places to be and besides, he had no entry.
First of all, I’m staying with friends who don’t celebrate Christmas, so there’s no tree to leave presents under and I don’t know what one would use an alternative. Secondly, there’s no chimney, so how the hell would he get in ? I never understood why he had to go down one in the first place and then I wondered how he got back up. There’s a thing called gravity. So he’d either need a key to the dead bolt on the front door or access to the security code in the garage. He has neither.
The presents don’t matter anyway and the older I get, the more I realize it. It’s endearing to exchange a gift or two, to celebrate one another for a monumental occasion, but the whole message of this day, (at least the way I interpret it) is to give back, help those that don’t have and immerse yourself in the love of family and friends. It’s a day to slow down, bask in the quiet, volunteer somewhere if you can and then eat 10,000 calories of sugar, fat and carbohydrates, only to be repulsed by these actions tomorrow. January 2nd you promise yourself to diet or join a gym, along with the rest of the hundreds of thousands of guilty holiday bingers, all plotting the same scheme to justify this week of uncontrollable consumption and laziness.
But just for today, be grateful. Despite the problems in this country and the rest of the world, regardless of your religion or own personal issues, it is a day off. We are allowed a free pass to do nothing, or spend time with people we care for.
Two years ago today, a very dear friend of mine died. He was one of my oldest childhood friends. I laugh at the candor and foolishness of youth and all the crazy things we did. He was a few years older and taught me many ways of life. I think of what we experienced together. I think of the former boyfriends and girlfriends we introduced each other to. I think of him often. I hold the memory of all he was in my heart. He left an imprint.
Maybe I’ll try leaning back on the pillow again for another hour and close my eyes. If so, the day can begin without me. It already has. In many countries it’s half over. The sun is up. The trees are bare and I’m beginning to see the blue between the branches. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you’re safe and warm and maybe in the arms of close friends, neighbors and family.
The U.S. is a culture of more. We seem to focus on what we don’t have and how to get it. We live outside of ourselves. We’re told from a young age, directly or indirectly, that things and material possessions will make us happy and full. Not true. At all.
We don’t revere the beauty and ease of simplicity. The more you have, the more you wan and the more complicated your life is. We view this as success. Right ? Wrong. You may be successful in acquiring, but not necessarily with life or the people in it. And this time of year is heaven for retailers, food markets, toy stores, candy shops and card companies. Sure they all need to make a living. But.. the pressure to buy, buy and buy, only to show someone they are loved, is nonsense. Be present, not give them. Just show up. Revel in each other’s uniqueness, quirkiness, unusual talents, love.
Tell stories. Laugh. Eat. Doze off. Enjoy the little children and watch life through their eyes. They are wide open: observing, absorbing, uninhibited, no defenses and no filter. Become that kid again with all the pureness, hope and playfulness. Have a great day and be thankful for all you do have. Right now. Right here.
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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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