First, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who expressed sympathies about losing my dog Maggie last week. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me except to say, it meant a lot. So, thank you to everyone.
Going against my natural instincts, I decided to adopt another dog, rather than wait. I think that Maggie would’ve been happy about that. In fact, I am too. Because out of the deep sorrow I felt at losing my dog of 13 years, I am now feeling immense joy from the new puppy. Lily.
I will always have the old memories of Maggie – she was a remarkable dog – a remarkable ‘person’ and can’t be replaced. But Lily is a little white bundle of joy and I look forward to making new memories with her.
If you have lost a beloved pet, I empathize with you. Deeply. It is a profoundly sad experience. But if you are holding off in adopting a new pet, don’t. Please, don’t. There are so many wonderful animals out there just waiting to find a loving family. And you could be that family.
This time of year it is so easy to get wrapped up in the preparations – the food, the gifts, the parties…
And I don’t know about you but I often go through the ‘it doesn’t feel like Christmas’ syndrome. For a variety of reasons – but usually because I don’t have enough money to buy gifts, or I have to work up until Christmas Eve, or, or, or…
But all of that stuff is just stuff. Right?
And I honestly don’t think the stuff is what brings about the absence of that special ‘feeling’ we all want to have. Because I think the absence has nothing to do with the material world – I think it’s our internal treasures we seek, not all the packages under the tree.
This year instead of worrying about the client checks that are still somewhere in the mail, or whether I’ve bought enough gifts, or even if the meal I have planned is going to turn out right, I think I’ll just try to think about my blessings.
I’ll think about how great it is that I have my own business and I’m writing a blog post at midnight because I don’t get up to an alarm clock. I’ll spend time with family and friends who love me and I’ll think about those who I can’t be with this year but know I will on another year. I’ll delight in the fact that people read my books. I’ll stop and really admire the mountains that I see when I walk out my front door every day. I’ll watch Christmas movies and be thankful that I have eyes to see them. I’ll take my dog for a walk and feel blessed that I have legs to walk with. In other words, all the things I have – my blessings.
Whether you are religious or not. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, or just Santa Claus, I hope you will be celebrating your blessings too. And that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, that you feel the happiness that your blessings bring you.
See you all after Christmas.
I’ve always loved Christmas. I collect Christmas movies, ornaments, decorations, jewelry, clothing, toys – just can’t seem to get enough of that stuff.
When I was a little girl I had a mission to prove that Santa was real. Every year I’d sit in the window seat determined to stay there until I saw Santa. I never did see him, and I always fell asleep, often waking up with my cheek stuck to the freezing window pane and shivering.
But no matter what anyone told me I still believed in Santa because it was somehow right that there was a person who existed in the world to just make people happy. Whose purpose was the joy of others. That had to be real, didn’t it?
And I think that purpose to make others happy in in all of us but really blossoms around Christmas time. Sure, we love to receive gifts and attention but isn’t the real joy in doing that for others? Aren’t we more excited about how happy our child or spouse or friend is going to be when they open our gift, or eat the cookies we baked or see the tree we decorated?
For me, that was always the pure joy of Christmas – to make others happy. Nothing makes me happier than to make others happy.
And I think the reason I write is to make others happy too. I want to give them the joy of reading a story they will love, that will make them feel, or believe, or laugh or cry – or all of it.
So, in honor of Christmas this year I’ve published two Christmas stories to Amazon:
I hope you enjoy them and I hope more than anything, they make you happy.
During these last few weeks, my mind has decluttered, my jaw has unclenched and I’ve been able to see a few things – or maybe realize a few things. And possibly understand what people mean when they talk about lessons that life presents for one to learn. It’s been nice to get to know myself again and this few weeks has been more than getting some much needed rest.
I’ve learned that
- I’m not a morning person. Even though I tend to wake up early, I’m only good for coffee and reading until about ten o’clock. No wonder I always groaned when the alarm went off.
- I don’t like being the boss, which is not to say I don’t like being in charge. But being the boss is that horrible crappy job of being between the workers and the owners and it’s terrible. No one likes you, everyone protests what you want them to do and in the end you can’t save people from themselves, despite the fact that that is what you were hired to do.
- I don’t like stress. While this seems obvious, no likes stress, right? Well, I used to think that I did. In fact, I believed that I thrived on it – controversy, being on the edge, pushing the envelope, all that exciting stuff really got my blood and adrenaline pumping. What I didn’t realize is that it was eating me up too. It isn’t actually exciting to live a life filled with conflict and opposition, it’s debilitating.
- A long walk cures just about anything. Put a pair of sneakers on my feet and leash up the doggie and we’re ready. I’ve been forcing myself to walk everyday since I started my ‘vacation’. And despite my grumpy voice protesting its head off and trying to keep me sitting on my fat arse, I somehow manage to get out there each morning. After about 10 minutes, my muscles stop protesting, my breathing regulates and my mind declutters. I start to see what’s all around me, feel the fresh air on my face, in my lungs and the sunshine dancing along my shoulders and it feels good to be alive. Just to be alive.
- Life is too short to be unhappy. Period. It’s a waste of time and energy to live an unhappy life and there is no good reason to do it. Not for friends, family or anyone. No one is served by being a martyr. If you’re in a bad situation, get out of it – it won’t get any better and no one will appreciate your sticking it out and suffering in their behalf.
- Money doesn’t matter all that much to me. I only need it for the things that I need, which isn’t much. It’s better to make less money and be happy in your work, with a heart and mind at peace than it is to have to practically kill yourself to have lots of money so you can have lots of things. Who needs things?
- I have my own pace and rhthym. I don’t like to hurry or to hit the ground running. I like to wake up the way a flower opens to the sun, slowly and deliberately. I want to see the day that is unfolding in front of me, not rush past it in my race to get to somewhere that I can see nothing but the next task to be done.
- I like myself. I really didn’t know that and maybe I didn’t believe that. But I know it now.
- I am truly loved. Again something I didn’t know or believe- but now I do
I suppose I could go on and on, as things like this tend to do so but I’ll leave it here. How about you, what have you learned lately?