Holiday feelings…

christmas-tree

I was talking with a friend today about our feelings toward Christmas.

She observed that most people she knows claim either to love it or to hate it. Some take special joy and comfort in the trappings of the season. Others carry them as a weight, fraught with negative associations, something more to be endured than enjoyed. (A few try to ignore the holiday altogether.)

My friend found it refreshing that i don’t have strong feelings about the season in either of those two common directions. What i do take from it, i take quietly.

When my children were little i delighted in making the season delightful for them – more because of people than things, though. There was no worry about them discovering the ‘truth’ about Santa, because in our family he was always a winked-at fiction — like being ‘in’ on an inside joke.

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Change vs discovery

heartprint

One of the most common pieces of advice you hear about relationships is to avoid trying to change the other person. Be yourself as well as you can, and accept the other for who they are.

When you first begin to get to know a person you are newly attracted to, you are, of course, putting your best self forward. And you know they are doing the same.

The time you spend together — whether you call it ‘dating’ or something else — gradually reveals more of the other’s as well as your own authentic self within the safety of developing affection for each other. You most often cannot know immediately whether a relationship will work out, as sweet and exciting as the love-at-first-sight idea is.

At the beginning, the compatibilities seem obvious, comforting and enticing.

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Long overdue…

Hello readers!

I hope this is the last time that i’ll have to express regrets for a long absence.

In my inaugural Ruminations post of December 2014, i explained my reasons for not making the cancer diagnosis a major topic of the blog. Unfortunately, it does make sense to refer to its ramifications occasionally, particularly after i’ve been prevented from posting regularly.

Returning today from the longest sabbatical since i started the blog is just such an occasion…

autumn-haze

Winter is coming. I never used to mind that.

But now with winter’s approach come dismal emotions that accompany anniversaries of diagnosis and treatment.

This November 1st marks three years since the declaration. I call it the great Time Marker.

I am, as far as i know, cancer-free. The subsequent string of severe complications from the treatment appears to finally be over, but has resulted in permanent discomforts and limitations — which is why i am only now getting back to writing. They make the anniversary a bit more challenging to grieve over and move beyond.

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A new year’s post?

Well, this is a little disconcerting, a new year’s post in March.

But as the turn of the year fell during my recent unanticipated absence, i didn’t want to miss taking note of it now that i’m back.

Marking off the segments of our lives by the calendar can seem arbitrary — has anything really changed other than the date? — yet we do seem to have a deep-seated inclination to do so. Or, as with resolutions, it’s that we take advantage of the flip of that particular calendar page to deliberately impose a reboot.

The following untitled poem by my dear friend Kris Harmelink (shared with her permission) touches on these ideas.

***

One moment

Bleeds to the next

But I draw up

A distinction,

I break those unsuspecting

Moments apart

Declaring

That was then

But this is now:

A newness

***

Happy new moment!

water

 

 

And this is life

I have often observed over the years that moments of great sorrow or great joy rarely are composed of purely one or the other. My darkest moments come accompanied with hints of light, as when tears of grief remind me i cry only because i *had* someone or something of value to lose. And on occasions of highest elation, i’m faintly reminded of how fleeting such moments tend to be.

yinyang

This came to mind again when i came across this meme — which also connects well with the Morning Dark poem i posted a week ago.

May you experience harmony this holiday season.