What makes this, despite outward appearances, one of the best Christmases ever is that it has forced me to just let go. Nothing was precisely as it usually is. But when you reflect on it, how many years have things been subtly altered from one memory of a holiday that never actually occurred but is just a patchwork of instances that made you happy? A slice from a year when dinner worked out really well, or another year when everyone was extraverted with their gift ideas and money-spending, or when winter snow fell soft but heavy all day long and the candles were lit so the house smelled of whatever pine smells like when it sparkles and whenever, over the years, you felt safe, included, and well?
This year, I got different slices than usual, but I got them, nonetheless. And the variety, actually, is rather pleasing. This year, I got lovely presents (including the Dragon Age books which I plan to devour as soon as I’m done with this playthrough…I also plan to take a certain sort of break once this playthrough’s done. I got good food and there wasn’t drama or fighting even with the introduction of a new dog into the family.
I did have a headache, most of the day, and my neck feels like a grocery bag full of broken glass, and we didn’t have an overflowing pile of presents underneath the tree, but everyone was thoughtful and what I got I like and can use. Especially a new set of pots and pans. That is a linchpin to the success of enjoying cooking in my kitchen in the coming year. It was a merry Christmas because it fell in the shape it fell in and because I didn’t bend myself out of shape hoping for Bedford Falls.
I also went home early and didn’t spend another night over there, turning my blind eye blinder. This long vacation is about tackling some of this crap that we justify not tackling while work’s on and wasting another day doing what I’m doing now albeit in a place where the problems are inaccessible would have been undermining the whole thing. Basically, if I’m not here, I can’t put away my clothes or make my bed or wash the pots and pans we want to get rid of so there’s room for the new. I can’t deal with my shit and doing that is a bigger present than anything else. My glasses are broken in half, but I have super glue to fix them again. There’s snow falling quietly outside my bedroom window.
If we can bend and look at the beautiful as it is, without a sideways, secret hope for a different beautiful, we can make life so much more enjoyable. We can find ourselves worthy of the work to maintain whatever this imperfect beautiful is and so change our resting point from one of distaste to one of delighted discontent. A happiness can motivate the change rather than being letdown.