December 25, 2008 4:30 PM- peace, joy & laughter

Christmas Day 2008

This morning as I walked the dogs down the road it occurred to me that it does take effort to focus on the positive, whereas giving over to a negative response is as easy as shifting the Lazy-Boy into recline. Not that I had any negative feelings to dispel, on the contrary.

My heart continues to be in a light, expansive place. And, I must admit that for all my need to be in a quiet place with my husband and our dogs today, I feel more connected to the world at large than I ever have before. One thing I didn't mention to you in my brief recounting of the journey across four airports last week was that among the dozens upon dozens of people I directly interacted with there were only one or two whose behavior classified them as Homo sapien assholandus. In fact, what stays with me the most was how the vast majority of the hundreds of people I was sequestered with responded to the situation with patience, generosity, genuine kindness and good humor.

It may sound a bit too ollyannapay, but that was my experience and I think it is not at all what is portrayed to us in television or films, etc. Maybe because assholes are programmed to cause drama which makes for entertainment so the camera always focuses in on that scene and never pulls back to show the other 98% who merely glance up for a moment before returning to the book in their lap.

There's a balance to be had between being one in a crowd of strangers with being known so truly, and cared for so deeply, by another. And perhaps that is what is partially behind this particular holiday season. We strive to keep the connections with those we know and love through family gatherings and favorite traditions. And yet, how many of us get caught in the tide of to-dos versus riding the wave of good vibration? (my apologies to Brian Wilson)

Because I am rather an idiot, for a long, long time I experienced profound emotional agitation at Christmas. It seemed I was hell-bent on making other people happy either through finding the perfect gift or hosting the perfect gathering or having the perfect time--which, as we all know, is a Sisyphean endeavor. This was also compounded by my wretched personality quirk that I could not simply enjoy a gift bestowed upon me if it was something I neither wanted, nor needed, nor reflected any thought whatsoever. Yes, I know--- not something I am proud of.

Plus, I haven't even opened the door to the issues you have to process when family members who are sipping at their own strum und drang cocktail need you to do a few shots with them, you know, for old time's sake.

In recent years, as both of our extended families live at quite a distance from us, my husband and I have pulled way back and brought a focus on creating our own traditions that may not jibe with commercial standards, but that provide us with greater and greater contentment for this giant, global holiday.

I think we've really honed it in now, and man-- does it ever feel so good. Or, as T remarked when we reflected on how we spent the last 24 hours together while eating a very special lunch, "it's like having a little extra time to indulge in the pleasures of our regular life."

But wait, I know that's not what I came in here to tell you all. I know that it had something to do with my reflections on my walk this morning and how part of my increased sense of connection to so many other people in a way that I have never felt connected before-- our shared human experience-- has to do with all of you and this silly blog.

Really, I guess I can't put it into words or I would've already done so in that rambling mess above. It's just that I feel it keenly. Oh well-- I'll try again another time.

Meanwhile, please know I wish you a clear road ahead filled with joy and laughter.

Bisous ~

got 2 cents?

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Barbara says:
Well, Elizabeth, as my son is so often saying to me, "I understand what you just said. I speak 'stupid." I hope you understand what I mean my that :GRIN: ... there's a lot of us out here that speak and feel that same way; you've just got a better way of expressing yourself (AND ourselves) than we do. Thanks for your gift of words. And thanks for sharing your wonderful dogs with us. Both your words and your dogs are treasured gifts. Hugs and a happy and healthy 2009. Barb
posted on: December 25

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Heather says:
Merry Christmas and may have keep finding peace this new year!
posted on: December 25

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catherine says:
I think it may be AGE, no really, hang with me, I think it takes years because all those years had to happen in the way they did to bring you to where you are right at this moment so you could look back, or turn this way and thataway and see the past not as over but as over there and recognize the how and the why and relish in the very goodness of the now. At 42, I experience Christmas yet again as a child, with a smile on my face and lightness and gladness and wonder. ...or maybe it's the vast amount of meds I take. I'm kidding. no, really. Silly or no, this blog of yours is a true lifeline for you and many of us others out here, here's to 2009 and many more years of writing and inspiring and making us laugh. Merry Christmas BP. xoxo catherine
posted on: December 25

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lizardek says:
Silly blogs are the best kind. I smooch you both, plus all the dogs, right on the head.
posted on: December 26

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Brenda Kula says:
I'm not really the traditional sort. Probably because I didn't grow up that way. No big deal was made of holidays. I did the festive thing for my children. But now that they are long on their own, I celebrate by having a peaceful, quiet and reflective holiday. Time to stroll along the paths of the gardens where I have one lone pansy left. And enjoy my solitude. Brenda
posted on: December 26

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Chris says:
If the message you were trying to send was something like: "Life is short, don't live it for other people, aren't my doggies cute?" - Message received, loud and clear!!
posted on: December 26

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Swirly says:
Though many miles away, I am feeling supremely grateful for my connection to you, my lovely friend.
posted on: December 26

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sherry says:
big BIG hugs!
posted on: December 26

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beth says:
thanks for saying the words that I've been thinking...you're amazing !!! and give those pooches a big old ear rub from me !!!
posted on: December 28

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