Happy Christmas

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over,
And a new one just begun.

Wow. So, yeah, Christmas.

I’ll admit it; I’ve had mixed feelings about this Christmas. On the one hand, part of me has wanted to pout this year and take a “bah, humbug” approach since this Christmas is not what I thought it would be last Christmas. I’ve largely not decorated, and have expressed reluctance toward getting into a Christmas spirit.

On the other hand, I also realize that Christmas is not remotely about whether things are what I think they should be, and another part of me has worked to focus on that, and to celebrate the season. I’ve seen two Christmas plays, been to a few parties, even hung up some lights in the house.

A good friend of mine is quick to point out that where you are in life affects what you see around you. When you’re pregnant (or wanting to be), she says, it seems like everyone around you is, too, because you’re more likely to notice it. So maybe this Christmas is no different than any others.

But the things I notice include that a friend of mine has been in the hospital since Monday after fracturing her skull in a wreck. Another friend sent me a text message two nights ago to say her fiancé had called off their engagement. Another just got out of the hospital Tuesday after a series of five surgeries, and was still not doing well. Another is dealing with the holidays while going through a divorce and facing stresses with her family. Another just saw the failure of the company he was vice-president of, and will be among several of my friends spending Christmas unemployed.

Happy holidays, huh?

Tonight has the potential to be odd. There will be two fewer seats at the table for my family’s Christmas Eve celebration — last year, my brother and I were both joined by the women who would, during 2009, become our fiancées and then our ex-fiancées.

At the same time, there will be one addition since last year — a high chair for my nephew, Nathan, whom I love dearly, even if he is still uncertain what he thinks about me.

Life goes on. I’m blessed. I have my family. I have my job. I haven’t been in the hospital lately except to visit those friends. And that’s the trick, isn’t it — to realize that whatever it is we don’t have, it doesn’t take away from the things we do.

I was reading a book earlier this year that had a story about the phrase “This too shall pass.” You hear it a lot in bad times, as encouragement that things will get better. But it’s just as true during the good times, and just as good to remember — Enjoy the moment. Take nothing for granted. Live today. Love today.

And, so, yeah, sure, this, too, shall pass. But, today, I’m happy.

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