The New Calendar

It’s a new year and everyone is celebrating.   Last night I heard the firecrackers going off and people laughing.  I was happy to be warm and cozy in my bed.  All the well wishes for a new year are spinning around with hopes of a bigger, better year.  Many wishing good riddance to 2019.  Expectations are high for big changes in life and circumstances.  It’s a new year with an opportunity to start over again.

We look at a calendar of December and now that page has ended and suddenly as we flip to the new page we feel refreshed and ready to go get this new life.  I find it kind of silly in a way.  Don’t we have the same opportunity to refresh in each moment of the day?  Life is not going to switch gears because of a flip of a page.  I wish it were that simple.  But then again, it really is.  It’s in the breath.  We can only take one breath at a time and as we do we have the ability to change our mood, our actions, and our reactions.

Our society waits for a new year to make changes in our lives.  We wait for Monday to start that diet or go to the gym.  I’ll do it Monday because it’s the beginning of the week. I’m sure you are familiar with that reasoning.  We are looking for the perfect time to begin something new but for some reason, we look at a calendar to tell us when that time will be.  It’s a calendar.  It’s just a piece of paper printed with a beautiful picture above it hanging on our wall.  It’s a general timepiece and we give it so much power.

Why are we giving power to dates on a calendar?  We have everything we need right here and now.  The new year isn’t going to be different if we step into it with the same thoughts and behavior.  Expecting major changes without doing the work is insanity.  There is no magic flip of the page that will transform our lives.

Peace, hope, love, joy, health, and happiness are all right here within us at any given moment.  We have it now.  We’ve had it all along but we were waiting for the calendar to change.  What a shame to waste all this time.

Life is full of challenges, heartbreak, hard times and sadness.  Such is life.  But, life is also full of the things we continue to wish for:  There is love everywhere if we choose to see it.  The balance of hard times and good times is natural.  The flip of the calendar won’t take away the hurt, sadness, hard times, etc….  But the modification of our thoughts and patterns and responses can bring us the peace that we so long for.

My wish for all of you is to find your peace, joy, love, and health in each breath you take.  In each moment that we are given, there is the hope that we are all praying for in the new year.  It is the here and now that gives us what we need.  Breathe and feel the precious lifeblood flowing through us, The Holy Spirit that does not need a calendar to renew our soul.  Instead of wishing you a happy new year, I wish you a blessed new breath in each new moment filled with the overflowing love that we need to grow, change and evolve into a better version of ourselves.

Happy Breathing!  Celebrate and be joyous.

I Found the Real Thing

It’s finally January, 2019.  I haven’t written for quite a few weeks now.  That’s what happens when the holidays roll around.  Speaking of the holidays; I was dreading every part of them and much to my surprise things turned out differently than I had expected.

We couldn’t put up a Christmas tree because we have a 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy who can easily take down a beautiful pine in the forest let alone a small artificial tree. We also have a no gift exchange policy with our adult children because we don’t need anything and they can’t afford to buy us presents so what’s the point.  But we do buy gifts for the grandchildren and that is where things got interesting.

I have 3 teenage granddaughters, 1 teenage grandson and 2 baby grandsons aging 3 and 4.  My teenage grandson and his 3 year old baby brother live in another state so I had so send them their gifts.  I asked each one of the older kids what they would like for Christmas and they told me that they didn’t want anything.  That kind of warms my heart that they didn’t feel the need to ask me for anything.  They are so sweet and kind.

I live an hour and a half away from my family which includes my siblings, my mom, my son and daughter-in-law and the 4 grandchildren.  Christmas Eve happens to be my mother’s birthday and Christmas day is my son’s birthday.  As you can see, the holidays are just a little bit more than your average celebration, what with birthdays thrown into the  mix.

I made the drive and went to see my grandkids first.  For the three girls, I gave them each a gift bag with a pack of socks from the dollar store and also a gift card.  Each one of them was so excited about the socks that they immediately put them on.  They were thankful for the gift cards but the excitement was really about the socks.  My 4 year old grandson opened his present which was a farm truck that he had to build.  It came with a drill and screws and screwdriver and it could be made into four different types of vehicles.  After playing with it for well over an hour, he came up to me and said, “Gramom, I really love this.”  My heart immediately melted.  The three girls are your typical teenage girls who love dancing and singing to the radio.  They decided to put songs on and they each had a microphone bluetooth device so we all sat there singing our favorite songs.  Then came the dancing.  They put the television on and went to youtube and pulled up some kind of dance video and it began.  All four of us were dancing to the video and laughing and singing every step of the way.  Of course, my daughter-in-law has a video to blackmail me with if I decide to get on her nerves.  HAHA.  After all the fun, we loaded up in the car and went to a farm to see a magnificent light show.  We tuned into the proper radio chanel and listened to Christmas music as we drove through the illuminating extravaganza.

I didn’t need a tree, or presents or anything else.  I felt joy that has been illusive to me for quite some time.  Joy that will last for the rest of my lifetime.  A Christmas miracle you could say.  In all its simplicity, the finest joy a person could feel.  The true meaning of Christmas.

That night I slept at my mom’s house because the following day was her birthday.  She was so excited to celebrate her 87th birthday.  The evening before, while I was with my grandkids, she decided to bake herself a birthday cake.  She hasn’t baked in years and it was surprising to me that she wanted to, but her exuberance about this birthday was notable.  When I returned to her house that night, I asked her how the cake came out and she said it was a disaster but she managed to “glue” it back together with icing.  I will never forget the laughter that we shared about that cake.

Everything about those two days gave me the extreme joy that a person should feel at Christmastime.  The greatest gift ,as always has been, is the gift of Love.  We don’t need all the fancy wrappings and expensive items to show our love for each other.  An evening of dancing and singing and laughing with a couple of teenagers and a little boy; A day with an elderly woman excited to celebrate another year alive; These are the most passionate and thoughtful gifts a person can recieve.

Where has Christ-mas Gone?

Christmas time.  I dread it every year.  I feel like a mouse trying to escape a trap.  When I go to the store I hear Christmas music, but I know it’s not for my enjoyment.  It’s to put me in a certain frame of mind.  I feel pressured into consumerism.  I feel like I can’t breathe.  I’ve got to get out of the store.  I need peace and quiet.  I want to run from all of this craziness.  Don’t they see what’s happening?  Don’t they know we are being shepherded into a pen?   I know the true meaning and I will not stand for this.  I will not renounce my belief for anyone.  It is Christ- mas time.  It is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Why aren’t we allowed to use his name if it’s his birthday?  If we can’t use it and rejoice in it, what are we celebrating.    Why are we all so blinded by the sparkling lights and the ringing bells.  Get me out of this trap, this rat race.  Take me to the peaceful place within my soul that knows what is real.  We say Christmas is for the children.  We are the children of God.  Let’s rejoice and celebrate accordingly.

Love is a year round action.  I don’t need ringing bells or holly or Santa to feel true love.  Jesus came to show us the way of true love.  That love lives in each and every one of us.  Let’s change things up and celebrate love. We can celebrate by sharing our time with others, laughing, singing, caring and loving.  These are the gifts that matter most.  I have to step back from allowing the commercialism to consume my heart.  I have to return to my source, my God. I open my heart now to receive love and to give love freely.  Now, I can feel the joy of Christmas.  Thank you Jesus!  Amen.