Merry Christmas Post

This is a very odd weekend. Even though I'm telling myself that "Christmas" is going to last till New Year's, it just seems very hollow. This a long post, but please bear with me, there is a point (realization on my part) to it, I promise.

Yesterday I was smoked in my own house. Even had a whole rant post written about it. The people who live in what I'm now calling "the tree butcher's house" (even though he doesn't own it or live there) once again had a party but instead of the two guys who brought the giant grill for their last party and positioned it ten feet from my bedroom window, this time they brought a huge black barrel smoker with them. Again, set away from their house and close to mine.

We all know my thoughts on the exceedingly poor insulation/weatherstripping in this rental and soon it was filled with smoke. This continued for five hours. I finally tossed my jacket on (which I really didn't need) and walked over there. Door opened and I said hello only to be greeted with a blank stare, actually over a dozen blank stares, no hellos. Okay, fine. So I explained that my house was full of smoke which triggered my asthma and wondered how much longer the smoker would be going.

All I got was "hour" and "fish". Sighing, I rolled my eyes and I walked away.

The next "treat" was the major floodlights on the house behind me going on that evening. No big deal since they're on a motion sensor. Problem was, they never went off...all night. My bedroom was illuminated. Impossible to sleep. I was beside myself. Wound up staying up and watching DVD's on the computer.

Finally went to bed at 7 a.m.

I don't think I've mentioned that this rental sits on "siren alley". Yes, this is the street used by all police, fire, ambulances etc. because it has 4-way stop signs the full length of it, making it safer for emergency vehicles.

At 11 a.m. in the depths of sleep I was woken by the sirens of five vehicles. They ended somewhere nearby but I didn't look out. Finally just gave up on sleep and got up. I decided to call the people behind me to wish them Merry Christmas and ask about the spot lights. Turns out she was having a major panic attack.

Needless to say I felt lower than dirt but I also felt very blessed. One of my favorite sayings has always been "there but for grace go I". It's from the bible I believe and since I'm not a religious person, I've edited it...but you get the idea. That ambulance could have been for me. I had goose bumps.

So the point of this whole post is that we should "chill" a little more, take a deep breath and count our blessings because there's probably a whole lot more of those than problems. I'm very fortunate to have my health, a roof over my head, a car that runs and a friend or two.

In the coming year, I need to be more thankful and less petty, calmer and less quick to anger. I need to remember that I am not the only person on this planet and that I may never know the troubles of another. I must remember to give them their inch of grace. It costs me so little to do so.

With these thoughts the novel by Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls came to mind. Off to Wikipedia I went and found my way to John Donne's work, specifically Meditation #17 from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623). It's fairly religious, so I'll let you check it out yourself, just delete or substitute the references that aren't part of your belief system. But please do read it for it's well worth the bit of time in your day. The essence of the piece is universal and gives one pause.

And that brings me to my Christmas message for you. It's universal and crosses all religious boundaries (IMHO):

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

by Cole Porter

I'll leave you with this beautiful video of Diana Krall singing this song at the piano amidst glowing candles.

Merry Christmas my friends and thank you for reading.

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Blogger Joanne said...

Such wonderful realizations! I think we all are quick to forget that other people have troubles also...it's just human nature to imagine that everyone's life is perfect except ours.

Hopefully the rest of your Christmas week will go much more smoothly!

12/26/11, 6:06 AM  
Blogger A Feast for the Eyes said...

This a great post. You made the best out of a bad situation. I have a very close and personal "thorn in my side" that I've had to learn to live with. It's caused me a lot of pain, fear and anguish. But, in the end, I grew from it. I learned that, despite the curve balls that God has thrown me (I'm a strong Christian), that I can find joy in the midst. Counting my blessings is one of the best therapies I can think of. I am blessed. I am happily married (after a very painful divorce that led to poverty for a while), I adore my grown son, I'm employed and I live in America. I'm so glad that you found a rainbow through all of this.

12/26/11, 8:53 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Joanne, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and read this post. Thank you too, for commenting, it made me think of my mother who would remind us "the grass is always greener on the other side" and she was so right. Hope your holidays are happy and peaceful!

Debby, thanks for visiting and reading a very long entry. I'm so glad you liked it. Every now and then I get these amazing little epiphanies out of nowhere. Your comment gave me hope since I too, went through a horrid divorce and am finding my way now in "a new land" alone. Enjoy your family, they're such a gift. Go hug them now for me!

12/26/11, 3:21 PM  

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