Letter From New York December 15, 2009

OR: as it seems to me

Several times over the weekend, I found myself on the deck of the cottage looking down at the creek. It was a working weekend; I had a project that kept me close to my computer and never far from home, with a bucket of conference calls layered in. So, sometimes in between, I went outside to catch a breath of fresh air, a respite from the work I was engaged in. The air was cold but not so cold that it was unpleasant to be outside; it was not MINNESOTA cold.

I sent a copy off to a friend in the U.K. saying: it’s looking a lot like Christmas. And it was, fresh snow on the ground, several local radio stations had turned themselves into All Christmas, All The Time stations so it wasn’t hard to find the carols to match the scene.

What was hard was to find the spirit inside to match the carols and the snow covered landscape. I don’t know about anyone else but the Grinch seems running amuck in my world. Thank God I put up the tree Thanksgiving weekend because if I were asked to do it now it might elicit a huge BAH HUMBUG from me. I am farther behind in chasing Father Christmas than I have ever been in all my remembered life. I may not even manage electronic Christmas cards this year! And I have been annoyed, annoyed with myself for not managing better organization [could I have?] and being annoyed at the season for slipping away so quickly. Time goes faster when you’re older they say but this Christmas season is going at light speed. Is it just because I have been buried in this project? Is it that there is a bit of the Grinch inside me [as there is in most people] and that little bit of the Grinch wants to come out and play under the pressure of other events?

So I have had to take a moment, a moment for attitude re-adjustment. This is not the way I want Christmas to be and so if it is not to be the Christmas stolen by the Grinch I am going to have to un-Grinch myself.

Which is why I found myself on the deck several times this weekend, working to get into the spirit of Christmas by basking in the beauty that surrounds me – and taking a photo so I would have some digital evidence of it. The fault is not with the stars, it is with myself and with myself I have to make the effort to break the cycle in which I have been finding myself.

Once realized, it hasn’t been that hard. Yes, I am monstrously behind in all the Christmas errands but that needn’t stop me from turning to the clerk in the store and wishing him or her a very merry. And, yes, I noticed when I was in the stores this weekend, squeezing in some essential Christmas shopping between conference calls, that there seemed to be very little merry, merry in the aisles. Well, I can help change that by changing myself and offering up a little of my own merry, merry!

The season of the year – whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or the winter solstice, lives not outside but inside – it is ours to make. And I have my work cut out for me in making this Christmas/Holiday season as merry as I want it to be – but I want it to be merry and fun and so I will do the work.

Merry, Happy/Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, whatever… may the joy of the season be with you and fill your life.

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