MerryThanksChristmasGiving.HappyThanksHalloweenGiving. Let’s get those holidays squeezed together so tightly the second the witches come down, the snowmen go up and Thanksgiving is just a blip on the holiday radar. Turkeys, no hurt feelings. I understand how important the holiday season is to retailers, I have seen estimates of $ 1 trillion for this years holiday sales total. I don’t even know how many zeroes a trillion needs. So it’s the season for money to move between the consumer and the retailer. Follow the money. Maybe we could invent a generic holiday in July and get tightwads to spend their money on generic products for a generic holiday. Either way consumers and retailers need holidays as reasons to spend money and keep our economy thriving.
The Christmas season rolls over the landscape like a Sherman tank. I have heard people say “I am not doing Christmas this year.”, but it seems Christmas may still be doing them. Who’s in charge of Christmas? The ghost of Christmas past or the ghost of Christmas future, the Grinch or Rudolph? It’s a conspiracy, the Christmas conspiracy! It’s those damn liberals. All I know is I want to decide what Christmas means to me and how I want to celebrate it. Lights, wreaths and action!
My Christmas “tree” is my big fake potted tree/ plant. I know it’s a bit lame, but I use it in front of my patio door to provide some cover from prying eyes, so why not multi purpose as my Christmas tree? My bottom line is Christmas lights and lots of them. I love the feel of a dark room punctuated with Christmas lights, it’s warm, cozy and feels safe to me. Gently lighting my way home when I get lost, I get the doggies, my blankie and cuddle.
Red and green , green and red means it’s Christmas. Make the green a circle and dot some red here and there, wrap up with a pretty bow and it’s a wreath. I think it’s the circle that draws me in. This year I have stretched the red to hot pink, and the green to lime green, but I am still in the red and green family. I liked the bright colors in the bag of tree ornaments at the thrift store, so I went with it. My garland is hot pink beads. It feels very festive to me and the opposite of the long dark days of December. So bring it on, Christmas!
Do I have the Christmas spirit? It comes and goes. Puppies help me feel like Christmas. Yet another sexual harassment report and Santa Claus gets fired! Very un-Christmas. I think it’s better if the spirit of Christmas lives in my heart, it goes everywhere with me and no matter which way the wind blows I can hold onto it.
A cheeseburger. As good as turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie? In paradise or not, I’d pick the cheeseburger. My thanks to Jimmy Buffet. Right now my gravy is a bit grumpy and lumpy. My best laid plans are revolting and I am very busy comparing myself to others and coming up short. Money or cheeseburgers, someone else has more. Good looks or social success, someone has more. I had plans damnit! My clothes are from the thrift store for crying out loud, never mind I love to shop thrift stores!
Thanksgiving, Bah Humbug. Santa is not real and neither is Thanksgiving. Can I “give up” on giving thanks? I don’t think so, because I know better. There is this thing called “gratitude “. I hate it because then I have to pay attention and question my self talk and attitude. I have to get real and humble and I don’t want to do that. So the poverty I saw in some countries while on my cruise was awful but…oh yeah I was on a CRUISE so I could just sail away. My home is not a shack and I have running water. Sure the Whitehouse is a dump compared to Trump Tower, but you gotta make do! It’s this comparison thing that gets me in trouble, “He who has the most toys wins.” If there is only one winner then there has to be a lot of losers. And it is too easy to see myself as a loser.
Fortunately I have several attitude adjusters that can help me get an attitude of gratitude, my little doggies and Rogers’ spirit. Doggies need to be walked, and years of walking with Roger have taught me to pay attention to the weather and the light. If it’s a beautiful day when I walk the dogs I can see it and feel it, and many times I tell Roger what a beautiful day it is and thank him for it. I surprise myself by being able to stop my mental chatter and ruminating and let myself be grateful for the beautiful day. I am grateful for the sun light or the gentle breeze and even the rainy, cold day because I am able to walk. I don’t want to be that person who takes for granted all that is wonderful in my life, and only realizes how much I have to be grateful for after I have lost it. A cold, wet and windy walk with Roger would be so wonderful!I I am going to practice gratitude until it becomes a habit, the habit of an attitude of gratitude.
I’m making my own paradise and I’m having that juicy, extra special cheesy cheeseburger and I’ll take a large order of fries too.
Many, many thanks to the Queen of gratitude, my sister Lisa who writes a blog HABITUAL GRATITUDE. Don’t miss it. She was recently named as one of the top 10 bloggers on gratitude.
Great job baby sister.
How’s your appetite? What are you hungry for? Burger and fries, Italian, success or love? My friend doesn’t have much of an an appetite right now because the chemo to treat her cancer has caused some nausea and other digestive symptoms. When I talked to her a few days ago we talked about her appetite, and then the conversation moved on to what her life after treatment might look like. Would she go back to her job? Could she slip back into her life pre-cancer? After a thoughtful pause , she said “I think I’ve lost my appetite for my job and my “old” life too.” I translated and she agreed: she wasn’t hungry for it, she wouldn’t put it on her plate in the buffet line, it wouldn’t fill her up any more. This struck me as a good metaphor for making decisions and choosing what direction to take in life.
What am I hungry for? Money, recognition, creative space or satisfaction from a job well done?Which would fill me up, satisfy my hunger? Have my tastes changed and out of habit I keep eating what I have always ate? I’m not really sure how or when, but I seem to have lost my appetite for a lot of what’s on my plate. I’m sick of broccoli and want more green beans and cake! I want to have a fulfilling life, but in the land of plenty I am still hungry. I can order pizza for delivery, but no one is going to deliver a sense of purpose to me. I have to find my own reasons for getting up every day. Right now I have lots of questions and am taking some time to look at the menu and sample a few entrees.
Life is so complicated, and navigating relationships can turn into a real food fight. I’ve often been hungry for a 5 course meal, when the man in question was just wanting a light lunch. Sweet nothings. Female friendships have become more nourishing as I have gotten older.
I trust more, share more and make more time for friendships. I have my own relationship with food. I have a sweet tooth and variety is NOT the spice of life for me, I often get stuck in food ruts and eat the same things every day. As the years roll by I am beginning to think that variety could spice up my life if I explored my options. I hate the expression “I was bad, I ate x,y or z.” I have more than enough ways to beat myself up, so I am trying to pay attention to how I talk about food. Food is my friend. I need to eat to live.
And of course we have the toxic diet of Trumpism and the world news. I am nauseous, have no appetite and want to vomit from all the hate and violence. Women and men are reporting sexual assaults in droves, the flood gates are open. Yes “me too”, I am a victim of sexual assaults. The feast of power when famine is all around is no longer acceptable to me. I can’t swallow it any longer. I am fed up.
So what are you hungry for?
My husband Roger died 2 years ago today, he was 64. His death, his last breath is remembered by every cell in my body. There is no nucleus of grief, I experience it in my beating heart, my thoughtful brain, my grasping fingers and my feet as they walk my path. Roger didn’t die from cancer, or in a car accident, he died from Lewy Body Dementia. I think of dementia as a hungry worm eating through his brain, devouring his personality, his ability to control his body and his memories and emotions. His body looked solid, but I knew he was more an apparition. When I felt his cheek he was solid, but when I looked for the essence of Roger sometimes I could put my hand through his body.
Its so hard to say goodbye to some one you love and I had to say goodbye to Roger many times each day. I am still saying goodbye and I will never be finished. I remember and I will always remember my Roger in every cell in my body.
Love is always solid.