Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Compulsion

I ran out of Christmas cards.

I bought two small boxes in August, one more in September and thought I had more than enough.

I have an address list on my computer [I used to have an address book but times change]. I guess there are more than 100 names on it.

I started writing cards to friends who live in other countries. Then very special relatives and friends. Then people who are very important to me . . . But I ran out of cards before I ran out of names.

I wrote holiday wishes on non-holiday note cards … and then I ran out of those.

Then I even ran out of stamps.

But I didn’t run out of people I wanted to send good wishes to.

I have no idea why it has become so important to touch base with people at this particular time of year ... this particular year.

But it is.

Sometimes it seems as though everything is being torn apart. Things are being blown up-- innocents shot -- thousands upon thousands wandering homeless-- so many people so lost, so cold, so hungry.

We need good wishes, we need to reach out to each other, extend caring and compassion, to remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have each other in our lives, however peripherally.

Because we all must carry on [calm or not] and do our best to acknowledge the interconnectedness of all of us.

So now I will send out e-cards.

God bless us, every one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Driving Through Fear

A good friend of my – a really good friend, for a really long time – the kind of friend who forgives you when you are thoughtless and/or make mistakes – once loaned me a book entitled Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway. [At least I think that was the title. And I think I returned it. I hope so.]

I thought of that book when I prepared to go visit her for Thanksgiving. The weather forecast was terrifying – snow, ice, wind-- and she lives about 140 miles away.

I know that she didn’t quite understand why I was coming down (she lives south) on Thanksgiving Day (and not before) and returning home the following Saturday (instead of later). After all, I’m retired. I should be able to come and go whenever I please. Right. I am chairing a major community group and participating in a writers group and quite active in my congregation.

Plus, I’m significantly older than she (and many others). At this age, much of every week is consumed by appointments with caregivers of various kinds – doctors, physical therapists, Pilates instructors, dentists, and the wondrous people who help make my hair and nails and skin presentable.

And looming Christmas preparations.

Nonetheless, despite weather conditions and my own terror, I packed my toothbrush and drove south.

It was slow going but I made it. The Thanksgiving feast was amazing, the time with my friend, a treasure. And the trip home not quite as scary.

When weather conditions improved I took my car to the carwash. It deserved it.

 I deserved it. I had felt the fear but done it anyway. Hooray!