Monday, December 23, 2019
And then there comes that moment when your spouse, or friend or family member gets a diagnosis or is an accident and it causes everyone to pause and take stock and help out. All the things you took for granted shift. What is really important becomes crystal clear. And one thing for sure is that you know that you can never take being alive or having good health for granted. You can buy a new house, a new car or a new phone but you can’t buy a new body.
And in these times it all comes back to appreciating the simple things in life. Being grateful. Really being present with the people you are with and the activities you are engaging in. We are so lucky where we live and we can always soak in the beauty that is around us. We breathe such good fresh air. This doesn’t change the situation that we are facing, but it helps us feel better and then we can do what we need to do. Its cultivating a quiet sense of joy out of an attitude of gratitude.
Like everyone who has kids I have spent the last 19 years being a fully engaged parent. Planning Christmas every year, organizing summer vacations and birthday parties, hosting my daughters friends, making lunches, driving, engaging with the school activities, doing lots of things together like cooking, gardening, reading, listening to music, creating art etc. Being a parent is like being on a retreat for 19 years. You listen, respond, create, breathe and as Jann Arden says “hope like hell.” And then one day the kid(s) packs up and heads out into the world to go and travel, or go to school, or get a job. They leave your house and everything shifts. My daughter left to go to school in August. She has had a fantastic experience, thank goodness, and is really thriving. And my husband and I have been happy for her. But we have missed her like crazy. I say my bones have been aching for her. I miss her stories, her laugh, her company for so many things, her friends and the liveliness she brought into our home. And so this year for Christmas my greatest gift is her coming home. We’ve been anticipating it for weeks. Thinking about our favourite foods that we will share. Planning when to decorate our tree which we love to do because every ornament has a story about some aspect of our life. Having friends over and sharing pot luck dinners, singing together and celebrating our 30th anniversary of New Years together.
Lynne Miles has a beautiful song that talks about how “life is about the people you love.” I’d like to expand that to “life is about the beings that you love.” People, dogs, cats, snakes, flowers, the snow. Loving all of the richness of life that is around you in nature, and in people. Loving the lights that twinkle. Good music. Food. The birds at your feeder. The kids playing in the snow. There is so much to be grateful for and it is all around us. Notice where you place your attention this Christmas! Peace and love and good health to all.