“Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart”
by Myla Kabat-Zinn
Ahhhh, Christmas vacation time…very well received to be sure!
As noted in my previous posts, the earlier period of weeks in the life of a special education teacher, namely ME, have been hectic and stressful indeed with the enmeshment of work and home prior to the holidays. However, the quote above has been actively occurring as I’ve been afforded the opportunity to do some self-evaluation and self-inventory; thank you Angela and Beth.
Anyway, the hustle-bustle has been upon us and in the luxury I’ve blessed myself with the reading of amazing writings of my blog community; visit any number of them on the side-bar and you will truly be given a gift I assure you! As stands to reason the themes revolve around the Christmas holidays; music, traditions, memories which have compelled me to appraise my thoughts and feelings in the direction of this celebration as well.
I have to be honest and admit Christmas has never been my preferred holiday. One, I don’t like all the commercialism which robs the time of year of the true meaning; the birth of the blessed baby Jesus. Two, past holiday stress with a childhood filled with a multitude of dysfunctions has truly tainted my perception and I have a propensity to look at the negative rather than the positive regarding this season.
Here is the change occurring…one of my followers, Mildred (thank you Dear and you can view her post here) posted yesterday about Christmas memories and revealed some depictions that immediately launched my travels to past recollections. One such was the Simplicity pattern that guides me to the images of my divorced single mother of five children. At the time entrenched in domestic violence and functioning on three jobs to provide us with basic necessities as well as Christmas gifts.
My mom was an exceptional woman who crocheted and sewed, although I didn’t appreciate it at the time since as a young girl, I wanted to wear what others were wearing and not an article of clothing my mother had created. However, with these talents, my sister and I were given clothes for our Barbie dolls. As I conversed with Mildred I reported I’d try to unearth them so this break of day I prodded through tucked away memorabilia of old and nudged the musty smells to discover my treasures displayed below.
I can hear my sister now; Dawn will be calling to accuse me of stealing her Barbie clothes. I’ll just have to inform her it was actually Barbie who ‘borrowed’ them to widen her wardrobe and just failed to return them! HeeHee…
But the true gift is this: throughout the days and weeks leading up to the here and now, I’ve been forced to ‘re-frame’ my thoughts and perceptions of people, happenings and holidays. As intricate as the incidences were, it was moreover a present to me.
So, what does life force you to do at times, particularly this time of year? What gifts have you given to yourself?
I will give my utmost effort to leave behind the sadness this holiday entails and embrace it with a new vision. And it begins with a thank you to my mom who has always given us the best of herself when times were beyond exhausting and difficult, as she continues to do on a fixed retirement income. She’s still the mom and I’m still the little girl…