The last week of November is here and the month of December is quickly approaching. I’m anticipating the bittersweet moments that will come. I am excited but also a bit concerned. I don’t want the hustle and the bustle of the holidays to consume me. I’m already missing the loved ones I’ve lost, and the world does not hesitate to tell us that the holiday season is hard on those who are grieving. I’ve already felt the lump in my throat when I spotted John Grisham’s newest book and realized that this year I could not buy it for my Dad. I will not purchase a new spatula for my Mom’s Christmas stocking either, for the first time in over 30 years. I understand. I accept this. But I do not want to feel sad for the next four or five weeks in a season sprinkled with touching television commercials. I don’t want to be pushed, rushed, or on edge trying to prepare for special meals or gift-giving, either. I’m planning to embrace these heart-string pullings that may visit from time to time. But with the longings I’ll feel, I’m hoping I’ll also have moments of great joy. I know I’ll feel my heart lightened when I get to see my two college daughters who will be home on break. There are other wonderful opportunities, hopes and dreams for the season including our family’s first trip to Florida together. So I am determined. I am vowing right here, before the weekend prior to Thanksgiving even arrives, that I will pull back and take in moments of peace and the joy that exist in this world.
I’ll begin today, right here. Right now. Here are some of those moments of peace and joy I experienced today:
*When my period three class and I finished our discussion of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel then watched and laughed our way through a Bugs Bunny cartoon episode of Jeckyl and Hyde. I love sharing easy-going moments like this with my teenage students.
*When I spent another lunch break laughing with five wonderful colleagues who are so very supportive of me and one another. These women are creative, caring, happy, and FUN! We have serious conversations but then something strikes us funny and we all lose it!
*When my brother sent me a note and called me Annie Oakley. The pet name and the affection it symbolizes touches my heart.
*When I rode to work with my husband and we talked and talked and talked. What an amazing best friend he has always been.
*When I looked at my son in the recliner with our 15 year old cat snuggled on his lap. He turns 14 years old himself tomorrow. What a beautiful boy he is. What a good kid. How incredibly lucky I am to have him.
*Right now. I am in bed typing this on my laptop and texting back and forth with my two daughters on my iphone, while my puppy sleeps peacefully at the foot of the bed.
Come Thanksgiving. Come Christmas. Come New Year. I am ready to embrace it all.