So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over,
And a new one just begun.
This is my public apology.
I wrote a post a year ago today titled Happy Christmas that dwelt on those lyrics and how they fit my life at that moment. And that’s fine.
Last year, it was easy to focus on the negative. There was a lot of negative to go around, in my life and in the lives of those close to me. There were things I’d been through in the past year that were painful.
I ended it saying, as one should, focusing on the positive, and saying that I was happy. I didn’t say why. But this is what I did say:
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.
And it fit where I was a year ago. My happiness came from something that I had every reason to believe would be transitory, and rather than not being content with that, I settled. And I used those ancient words of wisdom to justify it. Make the most of today, because any happiness is transitory.
But it’s a lie.
There is truth in it, but it is not truth. Not everything passes. Not everything is ephemeral. And even the things that are transitory on the eternal scale can still last a lifetime, if we let them. But there are also things that are eternal. A mother’s child will always be her child, even in the next world after this one melts away. That shall not pass.
In sadness, mourn as if this too shall pass, as if there’s always hope that tomorrow is better. In happiness, rejoice like this too shall pass, never take a second of joy for granted, but enjoy each one as it comes.
But love like it’s eternal. Grab hold to it, and never let it go. Because it’s worth it. Fight like there’s an eternal, like we are capable of making a difference today that will resound in heaven, because we can. Treasure your parents and your children like they will always be your parents and your children, because they will. Live like you’re leaving a lasting legacy, and you will.
And do it today. Treasure what you have this holiday season. I’ve been through some Christmases in the last few years that were much happier than the year had made me think they would be, and I’ve been through some that, compared to my expectations for them, just downright sucked. My biggest regret is that the ones with hurt caused me to miss the things that I did have. The things that don’t pass.
May you and yours have a very, very happy Christmas.