I have been avoiding church since two weeks before Thanksgiving. I have a major issue with family gathering holidays, so November and December are difficult. I became handicapped almost 4 years ago, and cannot put on any family dinners - heck, I can't even clean my own house. I didn't want to hear any Christmas carols or hear about the season. I don't have the money to help other people and I can't be up long enough to even visit others who don't have anyone. So I decided to treat the season as though they were just regular days, like August the tenth, etc. It worked pretty well when I wasn't crying over what I couldn't have. I got interested in website and blog design projects, which were fun, and some counted cross stitch planning, also fun.
On Christmas Eve a phrase came to me that I wish I had paid more attention to earlier. I had a mentor who counseled me one Christmas season to say to myself: "This is not the Christmas I wanted, but this is the Christmas I have." I remember I said it over and over, and over, and I was able to find some enjoyment in what was possible given the limitations I was experiencing. And that, of course, is the trick....getting into the moment and mining what is there for the positive experiences that are possible. I did finally manage to have some good times.
I had the opportunity to spend a few hours watching my 2 and a half year old grandson play, and got to hold my 3 day old granddaughter for ten minutes or so. Those were wonderful hours and minutes, and I can choose to focus on what I have or what I don't have - my choice -always my choice.
When I showed up at church on the second Sunday of the New Year I found out I had not escaped the New Years resolution operation at church...forms and pens were passed out. I took them but didn't even try to write anything. Resolutions were put into envelopes, so that after they were prayed over for the year, they could be mailed back to us in December so we could see what all had transpired over the year. It is a really nice project, byt sometimes I have a hardness in my heart and I don't want to be vulnerable. At those times I don't want anyone to know anything about me, and I don't want anyone to pray for me or look into my eyes and give me a hug. At those times I want to be alone...but there are other times when it doesn't hurt to be close to someone, times when I can imagine more good things in my life again. So I guess my New Year's resolution for 2010 needs to be to appreciate family holidays as they come, and let my expectations go....I still have the forms and the envelope...