I live in a tropical country where Christmas is celebrated in the ‘summer’.
Christmas carols in Latin American tropical countries are joyful, happy,
songs in stark contrast to the solemn traditional carols of the U.S. where
I spent most of my youth.
As I sit in my living room and look at the beautifully decorated Christmas
tree, I am conscious that today does not feel like Christmases of the past.
Perhaps it is because my children are not all here; our daughter is here but
she is heading to the beach in a few hours and our sons are still in the U.S.
and while one will arrive between now and the New Year, one son will remain
where he has been for the last few months.
My parents stopped putting up a Christmas tree after we were all gone from home
and I never thought the same would happen to us but I notice that every year
I take out less and less decorations because dismantling and putting things
aways is honestly a bit of a chore.
The real reason for celebrating Christmas (the birth of Jesus and the optimism
with which his arrival was met by people who lived at that time) will never change
whether I decorate or not and this makes me feel some comfort, at least some
traditions will never change.
I can’t say I’ve seen too many films with Elizabeth Taylor in them, but I can say
that she was one of my favorite movie stars, a celebrity who personified glamour for
me and who actually made me believe (when I was young) that if you did your best
to look “put together”, your days could be easier.
Ms. Taylor battled lots of demons in her life, not the least of which was the
fight she had with her food addiction. Despite that, though, she always looked
fantastic and I loved her attitude of perseverance and optimism.
It is not easy for anyone, famous or not, to constantly keep negative things at
bay. This Christmas I gave myself two gifts of jewelry, perhaps this is the first
time that I realize I actually really like jewelry even though I rarely wear it.
I used to before I had children and now that I can again because my children are
all grown-up, I feel like I have to have somewhere fancy to go to and don’t bother
because we live in a small, casual town.
For 2016, I am going to purge all the items in my closet that don’t fit, or that I
no longer find flattering. I intend to catalogue my jewelry and use some of the
closet space to put it away in. Then I will begin to select the items I want to
keep and the ones that I want to donate. That is one of my very achievable goals.
Marianne Williamson came to my attention years ago when her knowledge in A Course
in Miracles was featured everywhere you turned. Many years later, she wrote another
book applying the concepts of ACIM to weight loss. The book came into my life several
months ago and I was delighted but I confess I simply gave it a cursory reading and did
not do anything more. Yesterday as I was dusting off my nighttable, I realized that
I have so many books on the subject of weight issues, I could devote a whole bookshelf
to them! And still the weight lingers…
Ms Williamson states that she is not a food addict but that before she began studying
ACIM, she was a compulsive overeater. She mentions that after studying ACIM for a while,
the weight came off, almost on its own. I can relate to these words because there was a
time in my life when I became so focused on other things (work, night school, 12-step
programs, etc.) I did not spend time focusing on eating every minute. I am longing to
get back to that time and at least for this week, I am determined that I will eat like
a normal human being: when I am hungry and stopping when I am full…and naturally eating
healthy food and cutting out the junk.
Today I am grateful for small things that turn into good things. I will be kind to myself
and do my utmost to suspend judgement of others. It is good to just sit back and enjoy
life one minute at a time, the way the birds do, without worrying if there will be seeds or
bugs to eat tomorrow. Someone will provide.
Every December our community holds a party for about 300 needy children so that
they can have a nice memory of the season. Usually I don’t volunteer to do more
than choose one or two “angels” to sponsor but this year I was asked by a very good
friend to make three dozen cookies…I have not yet begun to bake and the cookies
are due tomorrow morning.
I am very inspired by the volunteers who do the planning, collecting, setting up,
decorating and clean up. I was only asked to do my part so, I’d better get cracking!
As crazy as my life has been the last couple of years, I am not sure how sane it was
to think I could do the Nanowrimo this year…but there you have it, I actually did begin
something. Now though, life is getting in the way more than usual and I am at a loss as to
where and how to restart a story I began two years ago. I am sure that back then I knew
exactly where I was headed, now I am not so sure.
Lots of people write good stories, compelling ones that keep us turning page after page.
I don’t really know what made me think I had a cute story to tell, I can’t seem to write
anything at all today.
It is Monday. I did have a busy weekend. I am not at a location where it is easy to
get inspired and I never really considered what a blessing my usual location has been
for gathering material together and putting words on paper. Where I am now is a busy
city where there is lots of traffic and noise of all kinds. Day and night seem to have
no real segregation, people are doing things at all hours.
What music inspires me to write? At the moment, I cannot even decide if reggae, salsa,
classical or jazz is my muse. I guess it’s another delay tactic of my not so sub-conscious!
Each morning, I hear the sounds of nature all around me. I have always
been most comfortable in tropical weather with greenery all around me. I
am blessed to be able to live my life in a place that touches me like no
other, my country of birth. Although it is not for everyone, I am truly
happy here and miss none of the attractions of living in big cities, probably
because I can easily drive to the city when the urge to go to the movies or
enjoy other city activities calls me.
Today is October 4th. The year is quickly ending and as each year, it has
had its ups and downs. The older I get, the more I try to live in the moment
and enjoy each day for the opportunities it presents me.
Wayne Dyer has transitioned. So has Oliver Sacks. So has Wes Craven. All the same
Life is short, life is fragile. I am the kind of person who finds herself often helping
others resolve situations that have little or nothing to do with me. Every so often, I
feel resentful because there are plenty of ways I would prefer to spend my time than to
go through piles of junk mail to see what to keep, what to throw out, which is something
that happens whenever I arrive at my parents’ home when they are away…but then I remember
that I believe we are all here to serve and in this tiny way, I can serve them.
I was sitting on my terrace perusing a website that included over 100 titles of ‘summer
reading’ books! Suddenly, it began to pour and loud thunder permeated the environment.
I am still sitting on my terrace but now I am surrounded by complete and intense rain
in spite all the greenery.
Summer? Not where I live, we call this our winter, although our visitors prefer the
term “the rainy or green season”.
There is something almost magical about it, Nature has its routines and so do we. I
have happily completed week 3 of my eating plan and although we were not supposed
to weigh ourselves, I did and have lost more than 8 lbs. I can’t wait for the rest
of the year, perhaps this is the year I finally and permanently lose the weight that
is keeping away from hosting a television show!
I had a lovely but very busy week. During the week, I was asked to give a speech
to over 200 people…I had prepared, speaking in front of an audience is not a problem
for me, especially when I know my subject well, which in this case I did.
Although I had been warned that I would be required to don the institution’s ‘uniform’
(blacks slacks and a polo shirt), I thought perhaps they would forget about it since I
was not officially employed by them! Alas, just minutes before I had to take the stage,
I was asked to change into the polo shirt that was provided to me. I took a look at
it, my expert eyes scanning the width to gauge just how snug it would fit, sucking it up
and bravely changing. Well, snug it was and because the podium was much taller than I am,
I had to take the microphone off and be right in the center of the stage. My talk went
well, I could hear the spontaneous laughter I prayed for and I received my round of applause
just before I got off the stage. A couple of days later, I received a picture which I
dreaded…and then found it was just a picture, not the judgment I felt. No one remarked
about how ‘fat’ I was or how ‘tight’ the polo shirt was and as I lay in bed that night, I
could not shake the feeling that it is only me who notices and continues to hang on to the
weight because I focus on it too much…
Just rambling and praying for a day when thoughts of excess pounds will not fill all the
idle minutes of my days. Thankfully, I keep myself too busy for many idle minutes but
there they are!