Put Another Log on the Fire

My newspaper column for this week:

Ten days before Christmas. By the time you read this, the timeline will have shifted. Sounds ominous doesn’t it? Remember when we were kids and ten days was a lifetime, and Christmas seemed to take its jolly time to get here? I read an explanation the other day about why as we get older things seem to move faster—something about events no longer being new to us so we experience them at a faster pace. I am sure that explanation makes sense to someone somewhere, but it did not really resonate with me.

I do find that different things have become more important to me over the years. Things I would have glossed over or not paid any particular attention to when I was younger. As I get older, I may not get wiser, but I do find myself being more reflective and more thankful for the present. Sound like I have taken one too many bites from Oprah’s gingerbread, or delved too deeply into Deepak Chopra’s philosophy, or heaven forbid, taken a page out of Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now? (I find all of his books to be dense, or maybe I am the one who is dense.)

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to attend two small parties—one with my Writers’ Group, and another with some friends whom I have known since high school. The warmth of being surrounded by good friends (with good food in our bellies topped up with a little wine) was wonderful, but the loveliness of the moments spent with friends was brought to the fore even more vividly by a suggestion I read this morning in my search for a topic for this column. I turned to a book that my husband gave me over a decade ago called “The Little Book of Christmas Joys” and recognized in number 303 a truth that had been borne out by my experience over the weekend.

My little book of joys suggested in number 303 that “When you have friends over and there’s Christmas magic in the air, don’t let the evening end early. Throw another log on the fire.” In both instances, the hosts of the evening “threw another log on the fire”, if not literally, then figuratively. I stayed up long past my bedtime listening to shared stories and taking part in something that needed no screen, either computer or television or phone, to keep me entertained. The art of conversation and conviviality is not lost—and the closeness of friendship shared is one of the most potent elements in the magic of Christmas.

On Saturday I was fortunate to share some tea with a couple of friends at Tim Horton’s. The coffee shop was filled to the brim as it so often is. Our peals of laughter brought us to the attention of other patrons, who I am sure wondered if we had brought a flask to spice up our hot drinks. We had not—we were just enjoying being in each other’s presence. We joked, occasionally elbow jostled, and left on a higher note than the one we had come in on.

Life is full of these moments. My dream for Christmas Day is that I be surrounded by family and friends and that the warmth of the day envelope us all. But I have learned to appreciate the random moments when my family is just sitting around watching a movie, or sharing a meal and laughing together. Or those moments when you realize that the friends that surround you are the most important thing—and that sharing our lives together is what life is all about.

I have used the word “share” many times throughout this column—and though I could have called on my thesaurus to find a few derivatives of the word I did not—as there is no greater word than share. We share our lives and we are richer; we share our food and drink and we are sustained; we share our laughter and we reach that ultimate goal: happiness.

This Christmas season I am counting my blessings. And the blessing that wins out over everything else is the people in my life. They help me keep what little is left of my sanity; they bring joy to my life; they are the magic of Christmas.

Am I getting sloppily sentimental? Perhaps. But is there a better time of year to realize that sloppy sentimentality? I think not. So put another log on the fire, even if you do not have a fireplace.

What is one of your Christmas blessings?

Advertisements
Published in: on December 16, 2014 at 12:47 am  Comments (23)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sweet Regrets

 

My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra

My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are human, you have regrets. Even Frank Sinatra “had a few, but too few to mention.” But today I am talking about sweet regrets—regrets that do not fall in the category of serious missed opportunities, things we want to repent,  or misgivings about what we might have said at a party after one too many. (Not me of course, but I have a friend………..ha ha)

Sweet regrets are those things that we look back on fondly—something we once had, but now only have only the memories–and yes maybe some missed opportunities, but missed opportunities that we can call on and wonder, “what if,….” but in a daydreamy kind of way and not with angst.

My sons are now in their twenties, and I regret that in the busyness of raising them, I may have missed out on really enjoying all the little wonderful things that happened.  The bouquet of dandelions brought to me by my eldest. The way my youngest got off the bus at the corner of our street and ran toward me with arms outstretched for a hug. There is nothing better than being the centre of the universe for your child. In time, it is short—but it is one of the loveliest memories I have.

I was fortunate to be the recipient of some advice given to me quite unsolicited at the grocery store when my oldest son was being somewhat “spirited”. He was two at the time—and I need to say no more—as everyone remembers what “two” is like. An older lady, seeing that I was perhaps a bit challenged walked up to me and said quietly “Enjoy him now, they grow so quickly.” I would on many occasions remind myself of her words—on those days when the third glass of milk had been spilled, or I had cleaned up the Legos and “car cars” one too many times. Her voice steadied me as my kids grew up. I think I can give her all the credit for having fewer regrets and more sweet memories.

My biggest sweet regret is that I cannot have a “do-over”—those days of youthful exuberance have been replaced by grown up boys—nay, men—though my youngest insists on calling himself a “man-boy”. (Just an aside here—aren’t all men man-boys; and all women merely girls with life experience?)

I have other sweet regrets—and while they are mine, they are not mine to share in a public forum. But they are part of me and inform the decisions that I make now.

What sweet regrets do you have that you can share?

Note: This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to notquiteold’s post Do-Over. In response, she said: “Sweet regrets is a perfect description.” Go to her blog to see why.

Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm  Comments (28)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Reblogging – Sharing the Wealth and Wisdom

English: Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 ...

English: Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12-13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are your thoughts on reblogging?

These used to be my thoughts:

1. Blogger is feeling lazy today so just reblogged someone else’s hard work and thoughts rather than coming up with their own original post.

2. No one can say anything better than I can.

3. I have wisdom to share, why share the wisdom of others?

Today, my new thoughts on reblogging:

1. There is so much wisdom out there that I am not privy to except by reading other blogs—and I now like to share that wisdom.

2. I do not have all the answers and others have them and deliver them eloquently.

3. Sometimes I reblog just to have the wisdom of other bloggers at my fingertips—on my site, where I can go back and revisit easily.

4. I am learning to share and not have my blog just be about me, me, me. That gets boring. Fast.

I find myself reblogging more and more now. At one time I would not have sullied my blog with the posts of others. Now I consider it an honour to host them on my site. They make it better. Thank you to all those I have reblogged in the past, the present, and those I will reblog in the future. You have opened up my world and made me a better person.

(If you are not part of the blogging world yourself—you may wonder what reblogging is—it is the sharing of other blogger’s posts by transferring their knowledge to your site.)

What are your views on reblogging?

Published in: on September 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm  Comments (44)  
Tags: , , , ,