Goodbye Twenty Thirteen. You were “interesting”, I’ll give you that.

This day tends to sneak up on me: this last day of the year.  I suppose the twinkling lights of Christmas and the dizzying realities of it’s aftermath will leave me in a bit of a daze. Typically I will retire to my bed for a couple days to repose and reflect. In actuality I will eat Christmas cookies and dark chocolate, watch old movies and sleep. By the time I come to my senses it’s already December  30th. In my younger days before I achieved “mommyhood” I used to get all dolled up and go out to some club or bar on New Year’s Eve. Now I tend to spend the evening trying to distract myself with creative endeavors all the while watching that clock tick, tick, tick towards midnight.

It is a strange phenomenon; the countdown, all the fuss and ado leads up to this one moment. This one moment that is so important we must all together count down the last 10 seconds to make sure we all have it right. And it’s Happy New Year!  And then it’s all downhill from there,  everyone cheers and then kinda looks around and goes back to whatever they were doing.  It’s a climax to nothing like a bridge to nowhere.

These last few moments of the year are no more important than any other moments of the year. If any moment holds significance over the others, it is “Now”.   Now is really all we have.

I celebrated the last day of 2012 with a group that suggested we write down on a piece of paper all the worries and problems that were weighing us down and keeping us a prisoner of our own fears. 2012 was horrid to me and I had no problem filling the page. We then got up and one by one silently put each piece of paper into the fire. This simple act was so cleansing. I really didn’t give it much thought over the year but I do think as “interesting” as 2o13 was, I handled myself pretty well, considering. (haha)

I am excited by the new year. I am eager to take it on. Life is changing so fast around us.  I am looking forward to being a positive part of that change.

I have no resolutions except to eat healthier, exercise more, laugh as much as I can, try as hard as I can and love as much as I can. I grow restless and seek to spread a little peace, love and understanding in my little part of the universe.

I want to thank you my friends for making this whole blogging thing worthwhile. I appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful comments. I am enriched by your visits as a writer and as a person. I look forward to what we will learn from each other in the coming year.

 

Happy New Year!  May 2014 bring you whatever you seek.

nancy in pink 1

~Nancy

cropped-burning-candles-in-the-dark.jpg

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” 
― Alfred Tennyson

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YouTube

New Year’s Day by U2

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Some Favorite posts from 2013

Listen  (10-31-13)

Confessions of a Tree-Hugger ( 9-22-13)

How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?  (5-4-13)

The Sea of Humanity (4-5-13)

Us and Them (2-4-13)

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The Perfect Christmas? Does it exist and how do I get one?

“We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.”
 
― Bill Bryson
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I have been away for a bit, experiencing perhaps a mild case of blogger’s flu. I have been rather neglectful and I have been spending more time in what has been described by some as the “real world”.   The holidays approach like a glittery freight train. I am standing on the tracks with empty shopping bags.
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What do you mean you haven’t started Christmas shopping you foolish woman?”
Santa scolds in a mocking voice before it runs me over…
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christmas santa train
I am standing in what would be described as your typical American Mall during the holiday rush. Two days to go in fact!  The place is abuzz with the collective energy of hundreds of shoppers and various others who for various reasons of their own have decided to visit this shiny tribute to consumerism on this gloriously cold and frosty day in late December.
I relish the excitement and I enjoy the people who also enjoy this type of activity.  We are a motivated lot; we of the last-minute. Our ranks include all walks of life, who for some reason, whether by uncontrollable circumstance, ingrained strains of  procrastination or perhaps just by design have seen fit to shop during these last days before “The Big Day”.
I try not to get hung up in all the stress and the drama of the season. As we file past the endless streams of people I can hear snippets of conversation, much of it is stress-filled and contains the phrase; two days left.
A  lot of expectations are put onto this holiday and it is an emotional and very stressful time of the year. I try to have a good time wherever I go and not to let things get to me.  This is easier said than done and it has taken me many years to cultivate this attitude. I remind myself that December 25th is just  a day and will pass soon enough, what really matters  is the everyday. Today, December 23rd is important as well. It is important to me that I am able to be out here with my beautiful daughter wandering around in all this mayhem, talking, laughing, eating surprisingly good Japanese food and having a wonderful time of it.
All in all, December 25th shows up regardless of whether we are ready for it or not…somehow every year it all works out.  Nothing is ever perfect. This day is no exception and in no way should it be.
We should NOT get everything we want
christmas bow Lexus car

We are bombarded with messages at this time of year. Images of glittery perfection. The silver Lexus in the driveway with the giant red bow. The beautiful and well-behaved children delighting in getting everything they want. The savvy shopanista hunting down one-of-a-kind bargains, playing the perfect hostenista, finding it all and having it all…

I think the holiday season affects us more than all the others combined and I think we inject needless stress into it. Society and the media set impossibly high expectations that no real person can attain. No matter how hard we try we cannot have “the perfect holiday” because it does not exist.
No moment should be perfect. I mean, where do we go from perfect?
Do it now
Do it now
Many say this day has become too commercialized. This is a understatement.
 
Many say we have forgotten the true meaning of the day…this too is an understatement.
andy 546px-Grandpas_visit_Christmas_morning
I don’t really care if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays. I am just glad to be acknowledged in such a positive manner. Whatever you call the day, however you want to celebrate it matters not to me. If anything can be gleaned or gained from all this ado, it is the perfect excuse to get together with those we love. Hopefully to break bread and to partake of each others company. This day is a day for peace, love, understanding, tolerance and compassion. It is not a day to tell anyone how to think or feel or how to celebrate. This I believe.
And I am grateful for what I have, for my friends and family. I am grateful to be able to live in one of the greatest countries in the world. I am grateful to have my health and the free will to follow my dreams.
OUR LOVELY HOME
OUR LOVELY HOME
We all live together on this amazing planet, it is our home. To embrace each other is the true meaning of this day. We are all brothers and sisters,  today, and everyday. We all sit together…and there is room at the table for us all; Jesus, Santa, you and I and Seven Billion others.

 If I could receive any gift this holiday it would be for us all, every single one of us to realize that

 We belong to each other.

 

a-christmas-gift in public domain
Thank you my friends for showing up and reading what I write and leaving such intelligent and thoughtful comments. I’d be all alone out here if it wasn’t for you. My very best wishes to you and yours. 

Happy Christmas from me to YOU!

~Nancy

peace-love-joy christmas

RELATED YOUTUBE
Bing Crosby – Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song)
O Holy Night – Josh Groban
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
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**Related  Articles**

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus  Written by Francis P. Church in 1897 (http://www.cs.cmu.edu)

The Perfect Christmas Gift (Romance, Inspirational) (mythologystories.wordpress.com)

Interview with Santa Clause (writazondastorm.wordpress.com)

Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Strategies for Procrastinators (abcnews.go.com)

Christmas Cheer/Stress (hudds53.wordpress.com)