I suppose that I am an enigma while also being easy to read. I’m very much a “what you see is what you get” kind of person and yet some people don’t quite understand my thinking. I am a bundle of contradictions in many ways. I abhor the idea of adhering to a rigid daily schedule, but I have an ironclad faithfulness to certain traditions. I’m quite sentimental about memories from the past while insisting that change is not just inevitable, but actually quite good. I eat exactly the same thing every single morning except on Sundays when my husband cooks an elaborate breakfast, but I enjoy variety in everything else. I like getting up early in the morning so that I can be alone as the day begins, but revel in visiting and talking with friends in the afternoon.
I’ve taken tests that indicate that neither my right nor my left brain is dominant. I enjoy teaching mathematics but my true love is writing. I’m a people person who mostly likes to observe the passing parade rather than being part of it. I’m a quiet person who will talk your ear off if given the opportunity. I enjoy traveling, but I always hesitate to leave home each time I embark on a trip. I might easily evolve into a hermit, but sooner or later I would need to get out and be among people.
I’m a very spiritual person who prays throughout the day, but my words for God are mostly conversational. I find comfort in having an internal relationship with God rather than praying in a formal religious setting. I’m a Catholic, but have many questions about most organized religions including my own. My God is very personal and comforting and kind and wise. There is only love in the God that I know, forgiveness rather than righteousness and smiting.
I suppose that in truth I’m much like anyone. Perhaps I question things a bit more than some people like. It is in my nature. I am adamantly faithful and loyal to family and friends, but not to any particular political group. I love my country, but see no problem in pointing out its flaws. In fact I have a tendency to see difficulties in almost all organizations created by humans. Nothing is perfect. Everything needs a bit of tweaking now and then to remain relevant and fair.
At Christmas time I become childlike even as I pride myself on being the adult in the room. I love the lights, the music, the movies, the parties, the gifts, the food. I am my happiest in December while also thinking of the people all over the world who are suffering even as I am experiencing so much joy. I have moments of great sorrow as I think of them, those engaged in war, those fighting for freedom, those who are sick and dying, those who are hungry and homeless. I want to help them all even knowing that my reach is so small compared to the needs. I cry a bit inside even as I smile and celebrate.
The ghosts of Christmases past, present and future are more with me these days than ever before. I am reminded each year of those who gave me so much joy who are no longer here and those who are new to my world as well as those who may one day be. I find myself realizing how important it is to celebrate each moment with gusto because I have no idea when my expiration date will come. I’ve met for decades with my church lady friends, a group that was once five strong that has dwindled down to two. I always enjoyed time with dear friends who are no more. I’ve become the matriarch of my family, a role that has yet to feel comfortable as I long for my mother and mother-in-law more at Christmastime than any other time of year. I feel joy in the moment nonetheless. I have learned to seize each day and find a way to smile no matter what may happen.
My energy is not what it used to be, but it is still enough to keep me going. I’ve learned to pace myself rather than behaving like a whirling dervish. It takes me longer to accomplish my Christmas rituals and I have set aside some that did not matter as much to me. I still send old school Christmas cards through the mail. I enjoy greeting my friends and family and cherish the cards that come in return, but I don’t mind that this old tradition is not as much in favor as it once was. Trends come and go and I have no problem with that. I try to stay modern while holding on to the things I enjoy.
I am approaching my seventy fifth New Year. My first one came when I was not quite two months old. I don’t recall much about that one but the rest have seemed to come with greater and greater speed of late. I don’t make many resolutions anymore. I just take things as they come hoping that I and my family will stay healthy and happy. I have learned that there will be surprises, some wonderful and some difficult to handle. I carry on just as I always have, a complicated yet quite simple person. So here we go with Christmas and a New Year on the horizon once again. May the holidays be merry and bright and may those who are suffering find comfort. Hopefully I’ll keep tapping away on my laptop sending you my thoughts and my stories for much more time to come.