Merry December!

I have been through the wringer of the washtub of life, as far as ‘work’ goes for some time – as my health, stamina and strength improved, I dove back into old habits – basically, workaholism.

It’s NOT that I don’t appreciate and know how to stop and smell the roses…

It’s simply because I realized a long time ago….

One lifetime just isn’t enough to do and try and learn all I wish to.

Sigh….

Apparently, during my healing hiatus from Life, courtesy a stroke in 2011, nothing has changed much – I’m still lured to try to ‘do it all’ – maybe even more so, now that I realize, my time may be even shorter than I imagined, in those days, when I wished to be done and it wasn’t granted and I had only the day to figure out how I was going to keep myself entertained, until I could (hopefully) go to bed and ‘wake up’ Done.

Dark, I know.  Especially during this season of human thought Light that we generate to keep our spirits up when the Light from above, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, isn’t quite up to our desires….

Christmas – a big deal and maybe, not the deal you thought it was –

I’ve carefully cultivated a local persona of “Grinch” – because anytime I’m in earshot of conversations about how the Christ has been taken out of Christmas and how America was FOUNDED upon this religion and holiday –

I can’t help myself…

“Um…nope, don’t think so” I open and then go on to say:

America was founded by those seeking respite from religious persecution –

(P.S. – along with the rag-a-tag poor people who were dragging down the neighborhood in Continental communities, younger sons who had nothing to lose by trying but everything to gain and, often, the latest batch of convicts to help empty out overstocked prisons and towers…but that’s another whole post….)

Let’s just consider the possibility (and in some circles, fact) that the first religious souls who fled to this new, wild, hard continent didn’t even celebrate Christmas –

First because they were just trying to stay alive, but, once they had a little security, they remembered  the celebrations they were familiar with from their homelands either smacked of holier-than-thou hypocrites they’d spent years being harassed/tortured and killed by and/or secular activities that resembled what I think I would encounter if I ever spent Mardi Gras in New Orleans, New Years Eve in Times Square or just about any holiday in Las Vegas.

A festival full of debauchery, bad behavior and drunks – pagan stuff, ya know? 🙂

It also appears that despite so many being really hooked on December 25th as Jesus’s Birthday, increasing numbers of theologians, astronomers, astrologers, biblical scholars, archeologists, anthropologists and historians (and maybe your local bartender/barista) all seem to agree –

Most likely not – Probably happened in March/April time frame, really –

There’s some disagreement between those who tell time by the heavens and those who tell time by the Gregorian calendar and those who track the sun, tilt of the planet, climate change and just when shepherds would have been out in the fields tending flocks – but yup, they all look to Spring as being most likely.

I’m not really sure what ‘facts’ bartenders/baristas quote – but sure it’s a mixture of the above – When I worked those jobs, quite frankly, ANY STORY would do when I had signed up for hospitality service and ended up wearing my therapist hat for those who felt disappointed by ‘the season’ and what they thought it should/would be….

In addition to early Puritans, and growing evidence we might be ‘wrrrronnnggg’ on the birthday, there were also a lot of Americans that were rather put out in the decades after the Revolutionary War, over the fact there were so few winter holidays – –

Seems as a nation, (and, at least to the public eye) we decided we weren’t going to CELEBRATE anything the British did – just for  pure pleasure of knowing we won and are now too independent to hold onto such colonial ways.

I’m certain there were some rebels who got drunk and engaged in gluttony, just the same – they had to wait for ‘child centered’ parenting trends, Prince Albert’s Christmas Tree and Madison 5th Avenue to bring them Rudolph, so they could celebrate in the open, more respectably….

I’ve also came into contact with theories that say the Victorian Christmas Americans first came to know  and love as an ideal in the 1800’s was written by a guy who had never been to England and didn’t really know much about reality in an English Country Manor – he did, however, have a grand dream of what Christmas could be…

In short – We made it up as we went along

Doesn’t mean it ain’t a grand story – an ideal to aspire to – heck, we adopted the Declaration of Independence with all it’s grand ideals and sometimes we aspire to live up to them and sometimes we settle for less…

I guess my little blasphemous detour of thoughts really boils down to this:

Christmas and our ideal of Christmas is just that – an ideal to aspire to – a reminder that light dispels the dark – whether via a candle, the smile of a loved one or the hope and faith held in one’s heart.

Trying to package this nebulous ideal into something that can be bought, expressed in words, controlled through strict protocol of events or restrictions on just HOW it is celebrated, is, to my mind, rather ludicrous.

We really ought to open our arms to not only Christmas, but the numerous other holidays that pepper the winter season…

Why, you ask?

Cuz cabin fever, sunlight deprivation and unrealistic expectations rather drive humans crazy – we need some food, fun, and community to return us to the path of our better angels.

Otherwise, we just get cranky and not much fun to be around while waiting for the sun to warm and bless us again.

In areas that don’t experience perpetual summer/temperate climates – well, before modern conveniences, you just huddled down, all crowded, to keep warm – sometimes, you were mighty hungry come January or February – and the bossy elder of the tribe also snored so loud, ya couldn’t get a good night’s sleep – whether you and your mama had your kerchiefs on or not – Thus, our ancestors were most likely sleep deprived, too –

All of the above ingredients are the recipe for one individual (or a group) to snap – maybe some in the tribe got greedy and took more than their fair share of the harvest – maybe a neighboring tribe was on vacation all summer and are now eyeing your reserves and thinking you’re an easy target – maybe they were certain war would break out if Olga slurped and smacked her way through a wooden cup of  bone broth, just one more time….

Who knows what straw will break Ye Olde Camels Back?

Winter celebrations, regardless of how we choose to celebrate….

are, to my mind, deeply rooted in our DNA – it’s about the will to survive to see another spring.  Without going crazy, killing or nit-picking each other to death when cold, hunger and illness has us hunkering down in close quarters, instead of having some space and grace to sleep out under the stars away from all the yakkity-yaks or snorer’s of the tribe.

Because come springtime, we really will depend on the extra hands and help from those in our tribe to gather in the abundance, preserve and store it, so we may all survive NEXT winter, too.

I like to think our ancestors were pretty tough and smart – they came up with a slew of holiday celebrations and just adopted new ones whenever they came into contact with the opportunity to do so.

They knew another feast when there was plenty or sitting around keeping warm while singing, sharing and caring, when rations were short, was the way to ride out the long, cold, dark days of restricted freedom and pesky irritations.

Have we lost the ability  to celebrate, share warmth and what bounty there is?  Have we gotten a tad too rigid in what’s ‘accepted/expected’ and what’s not.?

Maybe.

I think probably so. For if we were still open to celebrating staying alive all winter, any way we could, we’d be on vacation from first blizzard till the first chinook winds arrived in spring  and…though I’m not a fan, or follower, pretty certain, if we were still open-minded to winterfest, Superbowl Sunday would have been declared a national holiday, ages ago.

🙂

Happy Hanukah, Winter Solstice, Festivus, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and about 1,000 others that have been integrated into the preceding or lost to the pages of time. (Saturnalia celebrants?  You get your pick – December or New Year’s Eve or Mardi Gras…. 🙂 )

May you spend the last of December warm & and full of hope that you, too, shall survive to aspire to your ideals for 2018 – it could happen –  2018 brings (here) the double chance to do so –  for I’m told, “Once in a Blue Moon”, this year, means you really only have to wait a couple of months and you get your ‘once in a blue moon’, yet again!

 

 

 

 

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Rather Scared Silly…Just Now…

Yup, got hired for the job I Just Nailed THAT Interview for…

(Insert, in your mind, a picture of me doing a  forehead slap/sheesh! on my part…), because, yup, I’m rather stunned –

Why, you ask?

  • I interview POORLY – always have, practice, still do poorly – – FACT!
    • I just can’t get over my vow to live a life of integrity, best as I know how – which means, I usually give into urges to say….

“Yup, I disagree/suck at/am still learning/etc., etc,  such and such”

THIS goes against ALL advice for getting a job…FYI – (I’m often into the ‘long haul’ for making a point…just saying….and will fall on me own sword, in the effort…)

  • I can ATTEMPT to groom meself to cultural standards/dress to impress – but, fail, often – FACT!

I look to 2018 and…um….

  • Am I good enough to do all that needs be done?
  • Can I learn fast enough all I need to, to do this well?
  • How many hidden things from stroke, trauma, etc., will work their way up to be healed, re-learned, as I traverse this coming year?

At some point, during the application, interview, existing annual review needs, etc., I decided to take the advice I give to others…

“IF you LOVE (______ ) AND you can’t bear to walk away without trying…well, go for broke, be yourself, but be open for feedback on how to grow into your ‘next version of self…”

On the other hand, some feedback, you might argue about…cuz it doesn’t quite match up with what you have learned, thus far…and so, go forth in a blaze of glory in all your imperfections and see what happens…..sometimes, the risks are small…

…and sometimes,

“Fish or cut bait”

AKA

Poop or get Off the Pot

(Also Known As…more crudely…and in my family that remembers outhouses and chamber pots….until my Dad, his brothers and brother-in-laws, and….his son (my brother) showed up to get everyone indoor plumbing installed and/or working correctly….  I did try to remember what they told me, but my brother is who I call when I can’t quite remember the formula for calculating gravity feeds over long distances, how to calculate inches of watering over my garden, via readings from the rain gauge or thermodynamics, or other such things the males in my family just seemed to be BORN understanding.

…sigh..face it… I STILL walk out, look at the plants…if I remember check the finer signs… AND, empty the rain gauge out sometimes after 2 weeks or more of collection/evaporation rates – I LOVE data – but to me? 

Mother Nature has been around a lot longer than moi – so whaddya I know?  Either her babies transplanted by me make it OR she’ll strike me dead for my callous blasphemy…still waiting for a tornado or lightning strike to target me…  I try not to be obtuse –

I like to think, I’m just standing firm upon ground of….

“I’m just testing the bounds of tolerance of the universe, ya know?  The universe knows it has leave to take me out the moment I become more of a Minus, than a Plus – good enough?”   

Alas – “Good Enough?” is a HUGE Story, I tell meself, for long time now  – See Below for Life Line Stories if you need more info to understand… :D)

It’s also, now, December

…which means…

Time to compile 2017 accomplishments AND backdate them as

“2017 New Year’s Resolutions”

(P.S. I really recommend this approach to everyone – makes ya feel better after the past year AND gets rid of shame/blame/bad feelings from those resolutions you give up on come March/April time frame…

This approach ALSO saves you from spending money on ‘get fit equipment’ during holiday sales – you can seriously pick brand new stuff up, little (if ever used) in March/April time frame, with further savings, AND still show accomplishment WITH a lower cost – come the following December – as if you set an actual Jan. 1st date for implementation .)

Whatever Works, remains, my Go>To>Motto….

Yup, I STILL do this approach, every year – works for me, and if you likey-likey?   Try it out and send any nay-sayers in your group to me, I’m happy to explain  this approach to them….  😀

As I spend free time this month, ruminating on 2017, I see how many ways I was pulled, called, shoved into things that I WOULD NEVER have signed up for, willingly – on purpose –

Some of them, just, rather, happened…

Was put in front of me, needed be done, supported that which is in tune with my overall life-well-lived-goals, so I did the best as I could, at the time, even if I wondered, seriously, if I was, in fact, the best person for the job.

In retrospect?

This year has been filled with two main conversations – one with myself, and one with the Universe I think challenges us, blesses us and shows us the way to helping hands, when we are lost in our own ‘stuff’.

Top 2 Inner Conversations of Mine – 2017

“Self?  Um, yeah, OBVIOUSLY you just have to sign up to do this, because it may not be perfect, but lots of good folks, with good intents, are, right now, sorta running around with their heads cut off – Sooo….your job to show how to make the whole process a little easier…a little smoother – – you’ve walked this path – – you walked beside others who walked this path…You Can Do THIS!”

…and….

“Thank you, Universe, for the awesome folks you surround me with – those who see my strengths and forgive me my ignorance/work-in-progress self.   Thank you for surrounding me with people who shove me out of my comfort zone to try for the next best version of me….”

For you know, I believe in something bigger than I, and am not okay with limiting it, defining it with my lil human mind, or discounting others who have experienced a connection with the All and call it something other than I do – – so “Universe” it is, for meself, when addressing All that Is –

Who am I to limit All?

I also, truly,  believe in Angels –

I most often come into contact with them when  Nature & fellow humans show up to urge me towards ever higher heights – 😀

Life, can be hard and full of challenges

That which surrounds me in Nature, and my fellow species, are the angels providing opportunities to educate me…

…and sometimes, support or carry me when I’m ready to give up, from sheer exhaustion…

In the end – I don’t wait for miracles to show up in Heavenly splendor –

I really love recognizing the teeny-tiny miracles that show up every day – in a myriad of ways.

Because for me, the miracles that bless my life, are most often delivered by Nature being Herself and my fellow Humans doing what they are naturally good at…and think nothing of, or say,

“It was nothing…”

I disagree – For me, it was SOMETHING!

Ain’t it wonderful, how sometimes, we just go about being ourselves, in our own way, and make a difference, despite all the odds?

P.S. About Life Line Stories….

We all have ’em – sometimes from how we were raised, our hurts, our traumas, our blind spots we never knew existed – Sometimes they are good for us, good for all, or good for none, including ourselves….

Sometimes we are called upon to change them and sometimes, we can’t even hear the call, just because, we are so attached to them –

For me, right now, in my ‘growth-of-a-human-spirit’ journey?

I’m Absolutely, Positively, convinced,,I have Stories that need re-written or once more are in need of an updated edition/revision – –

and every moment, every year, every milestone, shows me the ones I’ve edited and published, the ones that need updating/new editions done, and those I didn’t EVEN know, I needed to edit…

C’mon – if you are here, in WordPress land – You ARE a writer, right?   Take this December to write the Best of 2017 – Re-write/edit, create the story for 2018 – even if feels like you’re venturing into a genre that isn’t within your comfort zone…

Cuz, in the end…I’m not calling upon or asking you to do anything I’m not willing to do meself – –