Monthly Archives: December 2010

This is Christmas

I’ve always loved Christmas. Always. When I was little, it was because of the presents, of course, but even then, it was more than that.

Religiously, I appreciate what it symbolizes, and that becomes more relevant as my faith deepens. I realize, of course, that Christ wasn’t born on December 25th and that we really don’t know when he was born. But we don’t recognize Lincoln’s or Washington’s birthday on the exact date, either, so it’s not as though picking a date to represent an event is uncommon.

But for me, it’s about family and friends. It’s about seeing people I care about, spending time with them, even if it’s people I see on a semi-regular basis, and even if it’s only a brief lunch outing penciled in between the insane rush of the holidays.

It’s about Christmas carols playing, about the movies on TV, even the insanely corny ones like Hallmark Channel airs. Every year, I have to catch “A Very Brady Christmas” and “Christmas List” on ABC Family (though I’m not sure how Pixar and Harry Potter movies have anything to do with Christmas, yet they make it onto ABC Family’s schedule like every year). I have to watch “Home Alone” and “The Santa Clause” and, by far my favorite, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Some people go crazy when Christmas music starts (earlier and earlier each year), but I say, as long as Halloween is over, bring it on. It’s such a limited time, and it always seems to rush right by.

It’s about Christmas lights on my drive home from work, or kids squealing with delight in the mall when they see Santa (which does still happen, and sometimes I even still believe in him). It’s about a smile on a stranger’s face when you do something nice for them sometime, randomly, because you’re in such good spirits.

It’s about hot chocolate and marshmallows, ham, turkey, or goose, cookies, pumpkin roll, and gingerbread.

Yes, bad things happen during the holidays – people get hurt on Black Friday, or stress over having enough money, finding the right gifts, making time for everyone they “need” to make time for. And this can all be disheartening and frustrating. If we let it.

I have a lot of reasons to dislike the holidays. My grandfather died just a couple days before Christmas a few years ago. Last year, just before Christmas, was absolutely horrible for personal reasons. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned lately, the only things that can truly bother us are the things that we allow to bother us.

So I choose to enjoy it. Because that’s why it’s here. And I hope that, no matter how frustrating and stressful and worrisome it gets, you can enjoy it, too. Because it’s fleeting.

And it’s a gift.


Nathan
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The Unexpected Positive Side of Being Sick

I’ve no idea if this will make sense to anyone else, but it’s something I’ve thought for quite a few years now, starting in my senior year of high school.

That was the first (and currently only, knock on wood) time I’ve ever had the flu. And, while I was miserable for a few days, I found myself realizing something rather curious afterward.

I’d spent those few days wrapped in a blanket, in my bed or on the couch watching TV, slipping in and out of consciousness. And at the end of those few days, when I started feeling better, I noticed that I felt more relaxed and rested than I could remember feeling for quite some time.

So, almost every time I’ve been sick since then, I’ve noticed the same thing. Obviously I feel terrible during and would much prefer not to be sick, but I usually come out of it feeling re-energized.

And I’ve tried to figure out why that is. Obviously, there’s the physical aspect, wherein we’re usually sleeping or at least relatively immobile. But I think there’s also a mental side of things. Regardless of what crappy stuff might be going on in my life, I tend not to worry about it while I’m sick. All I care about is…not being sick. And that break in worrying about day-to-day life, I think, recharges my brain a little bit.

Case in point, I just had a three-day weekend, starting Friday. I had plans to go out to dinner Friday night. But I woke up that morning with the same stomach bug my mother had just gone through a couple days prior, so I spent the day watching TV and not eating much of anything. I was able to enjoy the rest of my weekend. And now that it’s Monday and I have to go back to work this evening, while I’m extremely disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy dinner with one of my best friends on Friday and now may not get to spend any time with her until after Christmas, I almost don’t mind that it’s time to go back to work. (Almost, of course. I’d much rather be independently wealthy and retired at 26. Well, duh. But at least I mostly love my job.)

Plus, I lost a couple pounds and didn’t have to kill myself on the treadmill to do it. I also didn’t have to call in sick for work, since I’d already had the day off scheduled. Gotta look for the good, right?

Being sick sucks, obviously. I’m by no means saying I enjoy it. Some people have told me I’m crazy whenever I mention this, but does anyone else kinda get what I’m saying here?


Nathan
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