We get so caught up in all the activity of holidays regardless of religion or traditions. We move about decorating, preparing foods, buying gifts for weeks ahead.
There is so much anticipation even for adults. Older adults who no longer have a need to buy toys or perhaps even make that special dinner. It remains a time of anticipation. Anticipation that balloons into consuming us for days ahead.
Then the day finally arrives. Family comes. Although that varies with age and location. Sometimes it is impossible to share holidays with family for many reasons. One has to move away for a job or other economic demands. We try to fill the void. Then years past and it almost seems foreign to share a holiday with family.
This year I had the pleasure after twelve years of spending holidays alone, to spend the day with my daughter and son-in-law. Two huge pointer dogs in tow which like small children became the focus of the day. Yet it was not lost on me that we had not been able to celebrate holidays in years. Even before the twelve years my daughter and I lived in the same town however we were both airline crew members. Airline crew, like many other professions, police, nurses and such seldom see a holiday off. So we became accustom to celebrating on other days. No big deal right.
Well actually it doesn’t feel so right because it just isn’t. So for me yesterday was very special. I was winding down on reading the final pages of Joe Biden’s book, Promise Me, Dad. The book is beautifully written. Very touching. Very informative and very inspiring.
As I finished those last pages and then gave the book to my son-in-law to read, I realized not only was I grateful for sharing the day with my daughter, son-in-law and the dogs, I was very grateful in other ways.
Those other ways are that I am grateful in my life time that I experienced a President and Vice President of the United States who actually had class. Who brought no drama to the office. Who had the well being of the people in mind and did so even when privately, like for Joe Biden, life was not so kind. I maybe, like others didn’t appreciate how great things were at the time, however I certainly do now.
Other ways I realized that I am grateful on a daily basis is for the people I have met, maybe not all of them are friends yet they brought something beneficial to my world and I hope me to theirs. For example yesterday evening, I received a text from a man in the small town where I lived until recently. A place that brought great strife and sadness to my world. The man is a council member for that town and oddly when I read Joe Biden’s book, he had come to mind as being so much like Biden in wanting to be the change. Wanting to make a difference. His text was to wish me a happy holiday and a good new year ahead. That is all wonderful but he included “my friend” and that in the realm of things was of great magnitude.
So it made me realize just how grateful I am now for all those years of strife. For all the struggles. The meanness of others towards me for no real reason. I am grateful that I stuck to my values and quietly did things without show and thus walked away with people like this man who consider me their friend.
It has no monetary value. There is no gift to unwrap and find a place for to perhaps enjoy later yet just like the time with my daughter and son-in-law, it made the day even more special. It made me so very grateful for all those I have met in my life. For all those who have left my world for whatever reason, death or just life. And I am grateful to be reminded there can be happy times again.
I received a grapefruit tree from my daughter and son-in-law which was promptly planted in a perfect spot that at the time, I did not realize I would see from my kitchen or when I walked through the adjacent room. It stands tall and will remind me of them, the day and the thought behind it. They also gave me a stereo because I had donated mine before moving and did not have one. My daughter knows how important music is to me and the void I must be experiencing with out it.
I set that up today and played a CD or two which as music does touches your soul of when and how that music affected you maybe even long years ago. Music is something else to be so grateful that we have because it brings people together.
So while today I feel the emptiness that comes after an upbeat holiday, that aloneness that settles in. I am very grateful for the hope that I gained from being with my family and the crazy, fun loving dogs. I am grateful I happen across the wonderful book and all that brought to me in a much deeper way then I had anticipated. And I am grateful for the text that reminded me that maybe in some way I connected with a few people in that odd little town and maybe in someway I had an impact.
I am motivated to try to do more. To be more active in life and not just ride the saddle of time. I have hope again because of all that I recognize as gifts that came to me in different packages. Different wrappings. Yet all very valuable gifts.
So may we all move forward into the new year with gratitude and hope in our hearts. May we all take that extra step to make a difference. May we all reach out our hand and may our voices be of change. May we all notice the gifts in those different packages of time. In those who have different wrappings. And by doing so may we step forward for peace in the new year through the highs and the lows.