Friday 19 December 2014

This Christmas Isn't Even About the Giving.

Usually for me, I think Christmas is all about the gift-giving, because I love giving gifts.

Not this year. This year, it's all about what I've received.

Christmas stands as a marker of the passage of time. It's like a cairn in the great journey, and it reorients me to where I am--both in time and space. Each Christmas season I reflect on the twelve months that have passed, and this year, I'm overwhelmed by the people.

There are the rotten ones, the ones that I've weeded out. I found a quote last January that read, "Let go of what doesn't grow", and I spent this year trying to do just that. That means I let go of some people, gently and with great care. At the time I often felt miserable about these partings, but now I see what's managed to grow in the spaces these people were previously occupying...and strangely, I now feel gratitude for those who were weeded out. Thank you for saving that space for the next thing; thank you for going away when it was time.

There are the wonderful people in much greater numbers, though. Old friends who I've reconnected with, and old friends who I've barely seen, but who I love to have as friends even at a distance. New friends who have become permanent fixtures in my life, bringing with them fresh new joys never before experienced. And new loves, bringing with them all the heartrending treats and tribulations, the sweet stinging pain of human affection.

I have been gifted this year with support at home from my best friend, MJ. I count myself blessed to have someone I love so much be so close at hand.

My work has been made more rewarding by the friendship and mentorship of my business partner, someone I so much enjoy working with--but probably even more enjoy making laugh.

My dog trainer, who has become a cherished friend and has quickly become one of the first people I think of when I need to ask myself, "What would someone wiser than me do in this situation?"

My co-editor, Pepper, who has no earthly idea how much I appreciate her for her skill and her patience.

My boss at the school where I teach, who has helped me realize my dream of teaching and who is so marvelously supportive and encouraging.

There are so many more, some of whom have touched my life in such personal ways that I can't bring myself to explain them here.

This year Christmas isn't about the gift-giving for me, because there is absolutely no way I can possibly express my admiration, adoration, and gratitude to my people. It's overwhelming. I've faced some serious trials of late, but all these wondrous people have softened the blows and sweetened the victories. I cannot possibly say 'thank you' with little things wrapped in paper. There is nothing on earth I can give them that would equate to the gifts they give me. I am in awe.

I feel like I got to open new presents every day this year, all of them on two legs. Oh, and sometimes four...can't forget the pup.

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