Was going to visit my family for the holidays really worth the effort? When I pondered the question in the weeks following Thanksgiving, there were several factors to consider.
First, ever since I had surgery last April, I just haven’t been moving well. The physical effort that it was going to take to pack up all my medical supplies and get on and off a plane twice in order to visit for a few days seemed enormous, and traveling with my service dog is sometimes a mountain that is too tall to climb. Airline personnel can be notoriously disrespectful, and although I love everyone in my family, they have all been known to interact with me in ways that drive me crazy. Enough said.
Given all of that, after carefully pondering my options, I decided that I wanted to spend Christmas simply in the company of my “puppy” and myself.
For a while, I had it in my head that doing so was going to mean that it was “just another day” and I would go about what I had to do not marking the occasion as anything particularly special.
And then a friend of mine posed to me what turned out to be a very profound question. “If you could do anything that you wanted for Christmas, what would that look like to you?”
In that moment I realized that the day was mine to create. The possibilities were limitless. I was only going to be sad and lonely if I let myself be, and I could make the choice not to let that happen. I wanted a day that I could look back on and say that I got a lot out of it personally. So, I made a plan. And my Christmas day unfolded something like this:
- I slept in until I woke up naturally. Hadn’t done that since I was in college.
- In my channel surfing, I found and watched It’s A Wonderful Life”. Such a classic.
- Watched another Christmas movie on Netflix. Only slightly sappy. I was entertained.
- Observed as my dog started to devour a huge piece of rawhide that my parents had sent her for Christmas. About five hours later, she came up for air. Hysterical!
- Took the time to read the Christmas story several times through in the Bible and consider its true meaning.
- Listened to a CD of Christmas music and sang along out loud. There are benefits to spending time alone. Grin.
- Worked on writing some Christmas cards. Yeah, they will be going out late. It’s the thought that counts, right?
- Made list of all the things I had accomplished in 2012 (much more than I had previously thought when I took the time to really consider it) and my goals for 2013. Now I have a much clearer vision of where I want to go. I even came up with a word that I want to focus on for the next 12 months. I try to do that at the very beginning of every year.
- One of my dearest friends tried to call me from Germany, and, although by the time I heard the phone ring it had already gone to voice mail, the thought behind her attempt meant the world to me.
So, in a nutshell, that was how I spent Christmas this year. A quiet day, but incredibly enjoyable nonetheless.
Silent night? Holy night? Yeah, it certainly was.
And that is EXACTLY how I wanted it to be!