Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Dreaming...

Of a freakin' sun-drenched tropical island where the beach is hot, the ocean is warm, and the beer is cold. Really.

Well, in lieu of said island (someday...someday...), we'll settle for the white almost-Christmas we enjoyed in Seattle. Here in the D.C. region, our holiday is supposed to be chilly and semi-clear. But, thank goodness, snow free! (Can you tell I'm a summer kinda girl?)

Speaking of Christmas, I've been hearing something interesting from people lately. They're checking out of the consumer-driven rush. Not buying presents and telling family members they can forgo buying gifts, as well. Changing their focus, their priorities. After all, Christmas is supposed to be joyous, no?

For many, the answer is a resounding: "No." Caught up in the frantic cooking, the running around, the shopping, the wrapping, the trimming, the traveling, the partying, the spending...and all that damn "good cheer" and "holiday spirit" that our society crams down our throats beginning in September. It's exhausting! Can anyone honestly tell me why all this is a good idea? Most people can't.

So, even though we're all supposed to go out and spend money we don't have to "stimulate the economy," more and more people are choosing to celebrate their holidays more simply. They're focusing on everyday pleasures: time spent with those you truly love, time spent doing things you're passionate about, time spent contemplating the goodness that comes our way each and every day.

Give it a try. Here, I'll even go first...

I count myself fortunate. Sure, there are things I want. I want my college loans to be paid off. I want my CFS/ME to go away. I want a full tank of heating fuel. I want several sweaters' worth of yarn, more spindles for my spinning wheel, a pair of dark brown Dansko clogs. But do I need those things? To survive? No. Except for the heating fuel, perhaps, the answer really is: "No."

You see, I have what I need. I have my husband, whom I adore. I have two kitties who make me laugh and who warm my heart when they snuggle. We rent a delightful little cottage, and drive a fun little car (a Nissan Versa, in case you were wondering). AND I have a loving family (see husband, sister, and nephew, in photos above). I have tranquility, laughter, and happiness in my life.

Sure, I often feel like crap and can't do what I used to. Sure, we've had to cut back to bare-bones spending. Sure, we can't go out and spend, buy, do, go all the time. At first these things seemed BAD. But little by little I've learned some lessons because, without all the doing and going and spending to mask it, the truth was clearer: I am so fortunate.

Maybe it sounds mushy and trite, but it's true: I have what I need. What more could I want?

Just something to ponder over the coming (longer!) days...



Anonymous said...

Merry christmas to my wonderful sister and brother in law! We enjoyed your visit in Seattle, and your pictures are fantastic! We, too, have all we need this Christmas -- a wonderful, loving family. Miss you already!


Pam said...

And Friends! Don't forget those far away, mixed up in the seasons, friends. As always, lovely to see photos of your family and to hear of your 'shinanigans'. Wishing to get your way some day...especially as I'd love to have one last white Christmas and New Years.
All these years later, I still think of myself as a summer baby and Christmas is cold....you can take the girl out of America, but...
We have a terrific arts community here in Queensland. Please let your mum know she's most Welcome anytime to visit/do a showing. As always, it's wonderful to see her lovely face. (The Baker women always had such beautiful skin.)
Unfortunately there is not much need for knits/warm & woolies down under, but I love reading about them/you anyhow!
Happy New Year dear friend.