“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, belted the singer on the radio.
I think I’ve heard that song hundreds of times before and I never batted an eye. It’s just a Christmas song but today it was different. I heard the words and then I started crying. It isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year. In fact, sometimes it is the worst time of the year. I cried for those whose loved ones were lost in 2017. The shootings at the Las Vegas music concert. The church shooting in Texas. I cried for my family and friends who got a cancer diagnosis this year and the pain they’ve experienced during treatments. I cried for job losses, home foreclosures, unfulfilled dreams, divorces, hungry children, war and the pains of getting older. I cried for my friend who has watched her mother’s dementia progress into a changed personality this year. I cried for Puerto Rico and how there are still so many of our fellow citizens without reliable power. For Houston. For the people who lost homes in the California fires. I cried for a country that is more interested in political parties than helping people and enacting real progress. There’s been a lot to cry about this year and it all came out when I heard that song on the radio.
And then I cried for myself. I cried, because like you, I’ve had my own grief battles and unfulfilled dreams. The whole time I cried the radio kept telling me it was the most wonderful time of the year. It was a little annoying.
So, I turned that silly radio off. It’s not always the most wonderful time of the year and that needs to be said.
I’m a Christian and I believe that someday Jesus will come again and make everything right. I also believe that we don’t have to wait until that glorious day. Be a little kinder to people today. It may not be the most wonderful time of the year for them.
Merry Christmas, Everyone.
I have lots of fears including heights, natural disasters, people laughing at me, walking across the street and getting hit by a car, getting trapped in an elevator and a bunch of other things. (In case you are wondering, I’ve been stuck in two elevators in my life. I absolutely refuse to take elevators at the mall ever again since both of my experiences were at the mall.) I especially don’t like heights so I walked right on by this ladder of doom at the park. The Accountant easily climbed over and he encouraged me to try it too. I imagined falling off the ladder, breaking my leg and then having to explain to everyone how I broke my leg. I was certain that people would laugh when they heard how I broke a leg climbing a ladder at the park. Cue the next 30 minutes of walking away from the ladder and then coming back to it.
I eventually decided just to do it. I got up to the top where half of me was hanging over one side and the other half was hanging over the other side. Cue the panic feelings. My legs refused to move. I knew I needed to kick my right leg over to the left side if I was ever going to get down. I couldn’t get my right leg to move though. I was stuck! Cue the crying. I couldn’t get down. Cue the frantic prayer telling God that I was completely stuck, a bit embarrassed and maybe he could just send an angel to get me off this silly ladder even though it was my own fault for climbing up the thing in the first place. That’s the other thing about me. I’m scared of lots of things, but I also have this ability to just jump in and do things.
That is where I found myself yesterday. Really scared but having been brave and put myself in a situation where I’d be really scared. I finally got enough courage to move my right leg to the side with my left leg and climb back down. My legs were shaking all the way down and I was glad to be on the ground again. The Accountant was so proud of me and he jumped up and down with excitement. Cue the deeply analytical Amee. The entire walk back to the car I was thinking.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. My first memory of being afraid was when I was three. I honestly can’t think of a time in my life when I didn’t have some fear of some kind. Yet, over the years I’ve done many things that really scare me. Driving terrified me. I was almost 19 before I got my license and I was over 25 before I finally started driving on the freeway. I’ve driven all over the country now on various road trips. I wouldn’t say that I love driving, but I do it. It’s like my biggest weakness is also my biggest strength. It’s something to think about. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
On Monday, I sat outside to eat a peach. The weather was nice with a light breeze. I felt happy and grateful to be alive. Everything was perfect and then a mosquito bit me. With that little bite, I remembered everything that was not okay in my life. That bug ruined my perfect moment. I grabbed the little pest and sent it to mosquito heaven. I celebrated by finishing my perfect peach.
“Life consists in what a man is thinking of every day”. –Ralf Waldo Emerson
I had surgery this last week. The whole thing was not fun so I decided to make it more fun by dressing up like a flower child for my grand entrance to the hospital. My favorite part was the the way the dress swished on my legs when I walked. I even made a little sign that said”Make Peace, Not War”. I was the best looking flower child in the entire place. Then I had the surgery. Oh boy, I did not feel like a happy go lucky flower child. Then I saw the sign above my bed. It made me laugh. I could defiantly meet that goal!
The hubby and I have been trying to grow a lemon tree for the last two years. Our first attempt died last year during a frost. Today, I looked out my bedroom window and discovered that our lemon tree has bloomed with happy leaves. I was so excited. This one might actually yield fruit. I’ve imagined making lemonade and pies and fish flavored with my own lemon seasoning. It was wonderful to see the tree finally listening to me and growing a bit. It made my day to see it.
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. “–Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Have you ever wanted something, but did not ask for it? I do that some times. I’ll want something, but I won’t ask for it. I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room ,and I kept seeing kids come out with stickers. For some reason, I wanted one of those stickers. It was a small thing, but in that moment I decided to ask for what I wanted.
Me: After this is done, I’d like a sticker please.
Technician: You’re an adult. You don’t need a sticker.
Me: It is just one sticker and you have a whole roll over there.
Technician: You know you are really too old to get a sticker. Adults can be brave and have tests without stickers.
Me: Yeah, but it is a lot easier to brave when you know you get a prize at the end.
(At this point, I realized that asking wasn’t working. She wasn’t going to budge. I needed to try a different approach.)
Me: I write a blog on the adventures of doing 13 day challenges. Give me a sticker and I’ll write that you are best technician in this entire place.
Technician: (chuckles) Ok, here is your sticker.
I got my sticker. Thank you Susan. You are the best technician in this entire place!
When I was a younger girl, I loved to read the Choose Your Own Adventure books. If you’ve never heard of them, let me give you a quick summary. The books had stops in the story where the reader made a choice. Does the character go with the aliens to their planet or does the character stay on Earth? The ending was based on the choices made during the story. I loved those books. If I didn’t like what happened on page 98, I could go back and pick a different path. That path would take me to page 75 and a better ending for the character. Sometimes, I would read both endings and then decide which one was the best way to go. Life isn’t like that. You don’t get to read both endings before making a choice. I’ve made some choices in the last few days about my health, my employment and the way I’ve been dealing with the challenges of life. It would be nice if I could skip ahead and know that I made the right decisions. I guess that is why we have faith. I’m moving forward and praying that I’m heading in the right direction. I’m living my own Choose Your Own Adventure book minus the kidnapping by aliens.
For today’s brave activity, I got rid of my old Winter Formal dress. The dress has been in my closet for the last 15 years. It is hopelessly out of date and no longer fits me. My closet is not that big so I would see it two or three times a week. I wouldn’t think about the lovely date I had while wearing the dress. Nope, I would think about the weight I’ve gained since high school. Well, today I took that dress out of my closet and put in a bag for thrift store. Who knows someone might buy it for a 1990’s themed party? Winter Formal was fun. I still have the picture and a nice memory, but I don’t need to beat myself up over gaining weight. It is time to brave and accept who I am today and not use an old dress as a trigger for negative thinking.
What’s in your closet you need to remove?
Several years ago, the Accountant and I visited Iguazú in Argentina. I was surrounded by the roaring waters , and I cried as the streams of water struck the rocks. Life was simple and beautiful. The world made sense and none of my fears seemed to bother me. God lived and I felt like I had come home wrapped in a warm blanket of love. I wanted to stay right there in that perfect moment. I felt brave, confident and complete.
There are times that I do not feel brave and confident. Times where I let the tasks of life overwhelm me. For my next challenge, I’m going to be brave. 13 days of doing one brave thing every day. It may be little brave thing or it may be a big brave thing. I’m sure I’ll feel some fear along the way, but the goal is just to do it.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear”.