The holidays always leave me feeling a little sad. I find myself reflecting on all that I’ve accomplished,or not, over the last year (heck, over my lifetime) and missing people from my past.
I miss the giddy anticipation of laying in bed just long enough on Christmas morning that mom and dad would agree to get up. I miss the way my Grandma B would exclaim in joy over every single gift given to her and hug each one to her chest as though it was her most prized possession. It seemed silly sometimes, but the older me gets it now.
I miss gathering at Grandma and Grandpa Latta’s on Christmas Eve to spoil myself on homemade candies before we all crammed into her tiny living room to sing Christmas carols. She loved that so much. I suppose looking back, it wasn’t the songs she loved quite so much as looking around the room at her beautiful creation. A family, pausing from the chaos of life to gather and be grateful for the blessings we so often overlook. I know this now because it’s the same way I feel. Every Christmas Eve I sit in that very same living room bestowing the miracles I created and I am filled with gratitude beyond words.
Today, I get a bit of that childhood giddiness as I prepare for our next Christmas Eve where we will snack too much & laugh just enough. My kiddos are all staying over and on Christmas morning I will survey the room as they celebrate this gift of life and each other. And I’ll channel a little bit of my over the top Grandma B as I give thanks for this wonderful gift.
Wishing you all joy and love this holiday season and in all the days to come.
I was reflecting over my only other two blog posts and how much has changed - and not changed - in the last two years. Wow. Two years. I often say 2020 and 2021 only count as one year. I hear a lot of similar comments from others. It all has gone so fast. Many have found their new normal and resettled back into life and routines. Some are still trying to shake it all out. I can say for me, nothing about the last few years has gone as expected.
I keep coming back to this life nugget I gave a younger friend:
I remember when I was 20, I thought I knew everything. I had a kid, a "career", and a house. I definitely had things figured out. And then I turned 30. I could look back and admit I didn't know as much as I thought I did. But now? NOW I have it figured out. Three kids. Plenty of experience in life, work, and relationships under my belt. Now I am golden. Then came my 40s. Holy shit. I don't know SQUAT. None of us do! The only advantage I have is now I'm wise enough to KNOW I DONT KNOW. And the sooner we can admit we don't know diddly, the better off we are.
This should be slightly terrifying. A bunch of don't-know-diddly adults running around pretending to have a clue. Instead though, I not only find it humorous, but comforting. First, it's entertaining to look back at younger versions of ourselves and think of all the things we did, "knew", etc... On top of that, it's comforting to realize that even the most confident among us don't truly have it ALL figured out. We all have areas we can learn or grow in. The saying "It takes a village" doesn't apply just to children. It applies to humans. It really takes the knowledge and experiences of us all as a whole to get through.
I also always say: You don't know what you don't know.
So...where does that put me now? I give up on trying to have everything figured out. Some days, I successfully navigate and get to end the day without thinking too hard about it all. Other days, I find myself questioning everything, determined to figure out life and racking my brain (and heart) over the whys and hows of life.
Actually, as I type this, I am laughing and realizing I am STILL dead set on having all the answers. I'm a paradox. I guess that's just how some of us are wired. Determined to have the answers. But I ain't gonna lie.... I don't have a freaking clue! I guess the only difference is now I am ok saying it.
If I figure it all out, I'll let you guys know.
Until then... Be Kind. <3
If 2020 hasn’t caused change in your life, you’re one of few! Between pandemics & natural disasters, the Midwest has been rocked. Change, adaptation, and coping are now required skills.