Today is the beginning of the end.
Before you go preparing for an impending doomsday, here's a little unsolicited advice. Take into account that you still have a few hours left to make 2014 into the year you started realizing your dreams. Stop hoarding past mistakes and failures. If you're going to save anything from this year, save what made you a better person, not what held you back. Move forward into the New Year knowing that you've put an end to hopelessness, worry, fear and negativity. Stop bottling up your talents in meaningless existence. Start living a full life.
All it takes is a decision........ and effort.
In a culture so big on personal choice, it should be a no-brainer that if you're still unhappy in 2015, it's because you're choosing to be.
Waiting is hard. It's hard when you're waiting for a good thing, and nearly unbearable when you're waiting for something bad to happen. I've done my share of both, and can honestly say that "doing" - even if it isn't much - is preferable in either case. What I'm waiting for right now is kind of a mixed bag: good and bad, something I can do a bit about, and something I can't affect the outcome of no matter what I do. Still, doing what little I can occupies my time more productively than just worrying about what is to come. So while I'm busy biding time, just thought I'd ask - what are you waiting for? And...... is there anything you could be doing?
Today, or at least before the old year is gone, I challenge you to do something for someone without expecting any recognition for it. It could be something as small as cleaning up the kitchen without being asked, or big - like giving a car to charity. I don't care if you already do this on a regular basis - do it again! You'll feel good, and the person on the receiving end will have the opportunity to practice thankfulness. And who knows, you might just start a chain reaction!
Empty hands make it easier to receive..... or, so I've been told. Mine have never really been completely empty. I've never known true want the likes of which humbles one to beggar status. But, I have been on the receiving end of someone's generosity that I couldn't repay. Knowing there were others whose need was greater made accepting it a bit....... uncomfortable. Maybe that's where the saying originates. Or, maybe it's that when we hold on to things - even intangibles, like pride - joy is harder to grasp.
When someone gifts us in some way, there are only two legitimate ways to deal with it. The first is to accept with a spirit of gratitude, not resentment. The second is to be generous in kind. We may never be able to reciprocate, but if we give to others what we can, we open ourselves to receive whatever blessings may come with it.
My husband is a scientist. So far though, the artistic gene has proven dominant in our offspring. But there's still a chance: our youngest actually likes math, and one of her older siblings got her a Volcano science kit for Christmas. The crater is drying as I write.
Raising a family is an interesting experiment. The biggest challenge is keeping an open mind about the expected outcome. While it's practically impossible to keep the process untainted by outside influences, even if we could, unknown elements are an important part of the equation. The best we can hope for is that we learn something along the way. That part is a choice.
One of the best quotes I've heard lately is -
"Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn."
Even if it all blows up in your face. It's what you do with it once that happens that matters most.
Such is life.
'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house......nah, that's so overdone! I was going to post a collage of everyone sprawled around the house in sugar and turkey induced comas, but I don't think they'd ever forgive me. Our family had a lovely, lazy day spent mostly in jammies and good-natured teasing while luxuriating in the unexpected sunshine - though only the youngest, my husband, and I were up for playing outside in it. All in all, it was a peace-filled day.
Now is when Christmas really begins. All of the preparation was just that. It is carrying the peace, joy and good will into the coming year(s) that make Christmas real. But we've got this one, right?
In the midst of searching for it myself this year, I'm wishing each and every one of you peace. May the love and joy of that first Christmas live in our hearts each and every day, to light the world around us. Merry Christmas!