Holidays are the best time of the year for me…I love everything about it, the magic, the kindness, the hustle and bustle, the cleaning, the decorating, the giving and the receiving.
Each year I prepare a list of things I would like to buy for my family, I also do a wish list of things I’d like to receive and a bucket list of things I’d like to do during the Holidays. This year baking cookie was number one on my list.
Thankfully I purchased almost everything on the wish list for my family and everyone seemed pretty happy – it’s the first time in a really long time I didn’t ask for a wish list from everyone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do any of the things on my bucket list – the days leading up to the Holidays seemed to have slipped away so very fast this year and my wish list…well, that didn’t work out the way I hoped.
As Christmas Day approached I felt overwhelmed, somehow defeated, a sense of disappointment and all the other ugly heads that always seems to make an appearance when we feel like we haven’t accomplished the things we want to. It was so hard to shake those feeling until Christmas Eve.
A friend of mine left New Jersey and came to New York to bring me homemade bread, Black cake, and sorrel – all the things I look forward to each year because they remind me of the place I once called home. It was wonderful to see her, I had looked forward to catching up since we weren’t able to for some time. When she got to my house I had been crying most of the day – I must have been so wrapped up in my emotional mess that I hadn’t realized she had been at the front door for a while.
Earlier this year we spoke about a friend of hers that was having a not so great time – he was at a low point and had leaned on her for some support. As we started talking, almost in passing she said and “because I lost a friend this year – he took his life” – SILENCE…STOPPED IN TRACKS…WHAT? How did I not know about this and I called myself your friend – how was I not there to support you (and my self-talk continued ), and then it hit me “was that the friend that was having a challenging time” – “yes, that friend.” There were so many emotions that very moment, none of which I could express – here I was pouting because I wasn’t able to experience the things on my Holiday bucket list, while my friend was grieving the loss of a very dear friend and a family somewhere was spending the holidays without their loved ones (like so many other families). I don’t know if she realized it but the rest of the visit was very quiet – I didn’t have much to say and we just sort hung out, both of us in deep thought…evaluating things I guess.
I realized something in that very moment – in the midst of it all, yes it would have been wonderful to receive all the things on my wish list and yes I probably would have enjoyed experiencing all those things on my bucket list but seriously, what was really important to me and the only thing I could think of at that moment was how precious our lives really are and how grateful I was. I was alive and I was breathing. Here I was – alive, sitting at my dining table having a conversation with my beautiful friend, my family was alive and well and at that moment the gifts didn’t matter either did my silly bucket list. While I am so very grateful for the gifts I did receive, the greatest gift I received this Holiday was God’s Grace to continue to live my life – to continue to pursue my dreams, to tell my mom and Dad I love them, to continue to work at being a better mom and wife, daughter, sister and friend and to hear the laughter of my 80-year-old grandmother…how wonderful is that.
I really hope you all had a fabulous Holiday – I hope you received all the things on your wish list, I sincerely do but I’m writing this to remind you that the only thing we all have is the present moment and with every breath we take it’s another chance to live our beautiful lives to the fullest 🙂
Happy Holidays Luvs