Tuesday 28 December 2021

Send off to 2021

The snow is falling gently outside on a frigid December day. Lego all over the floor. Presents all opened (apart from the ones mailed by family members who cancelled their travel plans, and some I had wrapped for them.) AJ is reading to Dani by the window. I have things I would like to do this week but no great sense of urgency, which means I’ve actually relaxed.

I don’t really feel like doing a reflection on 2021. I sorta did that on my other blog. Alongside my contentment is the unease that is inevitable because of the weird times we live in. But deeper, and stronger, is the resolve to live with integrity, to open myself up to grace and transformation.

Also, from the book I am currently reading.

The adventure continues.

Sunday 12 December 2021

December (not so) randomness

After a long autumn, the snow has fallen and stayed on  the ground and the mercury is dropping (not that reading the temperature has anything to do with mercury anymore, in my case. I look at my smart phone.)

Today, I was supposed to take part in my stepdance group’s first (small) performance since January of 2020. But I am coming down with my youngest daughter’s cold, so I bowed out. Disappointing, but it was fun to anticipate and to practice for and there will be other opportunities (I hope).

There is one friend on Facebook, Diana, whom I still regularly interact with. Basically she is the only one. She is an unusually kind, humble, approachable, and intellectual person who holds her page, and herself, to very high standards. It’s like a Socratic classroom (with funny memes).

One of the recent memes was “Mankind wasn’t meant to work in December. We were meant to hide from wolves, drink, and pray our autumn harvest will last us through the Dark Months.”

I couldn’t agree more. I am very grateful for my job, and for the fact I have this opportunity to do something positive in the world. But at the same time, I would like nothing better than to sit on the couch and crochet for the rest of the month, and possibly well into January. Based on observations of the people around me, it’s not just me with these feelings.

I have started crocheting again, almost obsessively, after not having interest in yarn crafts for months….years? My co-teacher started a community knitting / crochet meet up group (almost by accident), and so I became involved. Then I bought a book of Harry Potter crochet patterns with the intent to inspire my eldest daughter. They are rather too complex for an absolute beginner, however, so I decided to make one, then two, from the book before giving it to her for Christmas. And so it goes. Now making deals for bootleg bargain yarn, seeing patterns in my mind…..all of it.

Diana, my gifted friend, posted a very profound question the other day: “What should I give myself for Christmas?”

She went on to specify that she didn’t mean things that could be bought, but something like a commitment to adopt a habit that may be a chore day to day, but that would make her happier and more fulfilled in the long run. A permanent change in diet, to read a real book an hour every day, that sort of thing. “If you were going to give yourself such a Christmas present—assuming you regard yourself as someone you love enough to make the commitment to—what would yours be?”

Someone did point out that that it seems to be another way of asking for a New Year’s resolution, but I like this frame so much better. There is a sort of shaming involved in the New Year’s resolution, an implication that you are not currently doing enough. Which may be true, but it misses the love that Diana’s question makes explicit. Personally, I find the winter months (January/February)  so challenging that I have zero motivation to push myself beyond the basics of trying to survive. Don’t even talk to me about resolutions or goals till March or April! But this idea of giving yourself a present….yes. This is a perfect question.

So there you have it. Winter. Gifts. Christmas. Still working on the best Christmas gift of all, the one that will keep giving.