So this is Christmas…

The spirit has been hard to find this year. Too busy, too rushed, too much going on, too too too… yeah. That. Not sure what the true “Big Bad” is for me, lots of changes happening but I don’t think that’s it. It’s just a different holiday, from our lack of a tree to traveling 2 weeks before the celebration. It’s just elusive for me. Like it’s hiding and I don’t know where to find it and I don’t have time to look. But today I’m taking a moment to remember. To think. To just be Christmas. Because I really need some Christmas. Right this very minute. I really need to just get back in touch with me.

To. Just. Be.

And while I’m doing this thing. While I’m being. I want to take a moment and wish everyone in our lives the happiest of Christmases and the best 2015 it’s possible to have. Even though we don’t say so every day, because it’s Christmas and at Christmas you always tell the truth, please know that your friendship and love is the gift we celebrate every day and we’re glad you’re a part of our lives.

So today, do me this favor. Take your own moment from the rush and crazy. Pause for just a second. Look around and consider and remember. Because Christmas is so much more than gifts, decorations, parties, and food. To quote the Grinch, “Christmas it seems is so very much more.” It’s in the memories of people and Christmases long gone. It’s in the sound of carols, sung off-key, by people who just want to share their love, even if it’s imperfectly done. It’s in the excited smiles of children who just can’t wait to see what’s going to be under that tree tomorrow morning.

Christmas… it seems… is everywhere. If you look for it that is. But the one place you need to find it is in your heart.

Feel it in your heart, and just be Christmas.

Just be enough.

Just be.

Christmas.

Thankful Redux…

Yes… indeed… more of the thankful… and damned glad to share it.  Because there are so many who aren’t.  Like the people having fist fights in the WalMart over cheap chinese crap.

Yes, it happened again.  Amazing.  Truly amazing.

But anyway, I’m not grateful for cheap Chinese crap this year… although I did buy some of it.  Yes, I’m part of the Black Friday (or Brown Thursday) problem… but I did minimize my footprint pretty well and only bought exactly what I intended and what was on sale and I got a great deal on a TV for my Dad and Step-Mom… so there’s that.  So overall I consider the shopping successful, with some national and some local thrown in on Saturday just to spread the wealth.

And, of course, I’m infinitely grateful for all of the delicious food I got to eat this weekend.  Amazing food, provided yet again by Chef Denny Trantham, assisted by the lovely Natalie.  Farm to table rocks y’all… and Denny has turned it into an artform.  Truly.  There aren’t enough words to do it justice.  I’ll use delicious, but that’s so inadequate.  Next year the feast is at our house… and I only hope I can do it justice.  Big shoes and all that.

Also, there was a good time had in Asheville yet again, but that’s to be expected by this point.  We love that town… one day we’ll be part-time residents I know.  Roaming the streets, soaking in the cold bite of Winter… it’s a nice change from our lingering Florida heat.  No, I’m not interested in living there full-time, but a visit to Winter and Snow and Stick Season is good.  It reminds me again why I love it there, and why I love home when I get back.

But that still wasn’t the best part.

Oh no.

The best part?  The really, really best part?  That’s easy.  It was getting to spend some time with the people I love.  Who love me back.  And remembering again how lucky I am to have every one of them in my life.  I remember.  I may not always act grateful, but I am.  Truly, I am.  And although I may not say so, I’m glad they’re in my life.  Always.

Even when I think I’m not.

So with this, I’m drawing a close to the Month of Gratitude.  I’m grateful that I had it.  Grateful that I lived it.  Grateful that I was able to share it with all of you.  Thanks for reading… thanks for being a friend… thanks… I’m grateful.

Always.

Oy! Celebrate already!

thanks-kippur

Yet another thing to be thankful for…

Thankful Thots: Part “Jeebus-Only-Knows-How-Many”

thankful

So I’m sure all of you are sicksicksick to the death of reading what everyone is thankful for.  I know I am… and let me just state for the record that all of you really need to just build a check list and click the boxes.  Sameness.  Seriously, so much sameness.  And I laugh when I read these because I mostly think about all of the times I read and hear y’all ranting about the things you’re now saying you’re thankful for.  And I’m hopeful that your object of thankfulness remembers your abject words of gratitude the next time you’re ranting at them again… that might be the only thing that keeps them in the house.

Just sayin.

But anyway, after the admonishment and incredulity, it’s time for me to do the same thing.  Only mine is different this year, but that probably doesn’t surprise any of you… am I right?  And, before I go into it, I feel the need to state, for the record, that I’m just as grateful as all of you for all the same things you’re giving thanks for.  Truly.  And I tell the people in my life that as much as possible.  Because that’s important.  But this year has been different.  This year, in fact, might personally be called my year of discontent, and my year of searching, and so I’m grateful for something totally different.  And when I say grateful I mean that in a different way entirely.  Because sometimes you’re grateful for things that you didn’t necessarily want when you got them.  That’s this year.

This year is not what I wanted.

But this year is what I got… and I’m learning to appreciate it for what it’s been.  A journey.  At times harder than others.  And at times far simpler than I ever expected.  This year I’m thankful for the passage of time.  Time that I spent emotionally breaking down, cocooning, learning how to be alone and together, and precious time that I spent on me.  I’ve mourned this year, I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, I’ve been quiet, and mainly I’ve re-examined me to see if I still like her.  The good news is that I do… but the good and bad news is that I see more change coming for me.  Because of all this time I’ve taken with me, because of the searching I’ve done and I’m still doing, because my journey is continuing.

The road goes on forever.

Looking at your life, mourning what you’ve lost fully and completely,  this is hard work.  It takes time.  It takes being okay with sadness and understanding that sadness isn’t permanent.  But doing this work, this year, was vitally important for me.  For my ability to survive the next loss, and the next, and the next.

Survival is the goal.

In just this last year I’ve fallen in and out of like & love with a million things big and small, planned a million plans that I won’t start or finish, started an entirely new life direction and debated that decision continually ever since, made myself healthier (and smaller) than I’ve been in years, pushed myself to run further than I ever thought possible, and accepted my losses and failures with at least a little grace.  I’ve made myself and other people laugh and think, loved myself and them when neither deserved it, and laughed, and cried, and flirted, and yelled throughout it all.

I am healthier mentally and physically right now than I was a year ago, due to the work I’ve done and the work I continue to do.  And that was my goal, when I got this dubious gift of time to heal, and I decided to move forward and do it.  To start finally fixing me.  And I’m on my way.  Oh I still miss the missing from my life with a fierceness that doesn’t abate, but I’ve found a way through it that will allow me to be okay.  I am okay.

Really. Okay.

So that, in a nutshell, is my thankful thot this year… thank you Universe for time.  Time isn’t always a gift but this year it’s my treasure.  Use yours wisely this next year.  Allocate it in a way that carries meaning.  Make it count.

Because you never know when you might run out.

For your listening pleasure…

Because sometimes we all have to put up the “Filter” in order to enjoy our family time together…

On this Thanksgiving week know that I’m thankful for all of you and I love you all!  Hope your holiday is filled with the the sweet, the tasty, the wonder, and the love… and if all else fails…

FILTER!

Let the Fall Festivities begin!

ergh!  Or whatever noise facsimile you want to insert for halloween creepy crawlers.  See also, ick.  Filed alongside “WTH would I want to do that?”

And with that small “get offa my lawn moment” can I just state for the record that there isn’t a chance in Hell or Orlando that I’m planning on going to Halloween Horror Nights this year?  Er, yeah, um, no.  To be totally crystal clear on this point, I’d rather deal with thousands of killer death armies of clowns than anything remotely undeadish like a zombie.  In my considered opinion zombies are so played out.  Well, zombies and sparkly child vampires.  Oh and anything to do with chainsaws.

So, yeah, the chance of me paying Universal what I consider to be an exorbitant amount of my hard-earned money for the opportunity to spend an entire evening being mauled by dozens of moth-eaten, slime-covered, oozing faced people in need of a bath and maybe some Bactine is not good.

Yes, I am well aware that all the cool kids are doing it.  No, I’m not cool.  Maybe I never was. In fact, I’d say it’s highly likely that I never was.

Oh well.

But the idea of paying someone for the opportunity to have a bunch of people groaning like my Great-Aunt as she gets out of her Lazyboy, as they paw at my face and utter “brains” overandover just doesn’t sound like fun.  Or not fun for me today.  I think I’d be more into going to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween and collecting some candy.  Or even better, going to EPCOT Food & Wine and collecting a hangover.

Yeah.  Winner winner chicken dinner!  That’s the ticket!

And the bonus is that if I have a really successful Food & Wine experience the next day I could probably scare those damned zombies.  ”Brainsssssss” indeed… but I’m reasonably sure I can restore myself with a Bloody Mary or a “triplegrandeonepumpnonfatlightwhipmocha”.  Added bonus is that my acne is clearing up.  And my hands aren’t falling off.

So, with all that grumbling, happy early Halloween.  Since it appears that we must celebrate it for an entire month down here in order to make sure it is properly commemorated.  My advice is to skip the faux zombies and go to Miami – don’t settle for second best.  ARRRRGGHHHHH…