With Unending Gratitude

The Holidays have come and gone, and I was successful at not hanging myself with Christmas lights! I just might be ready to navigate Valentine’s Day. LOL! This holiday season was filled with anniversaries and experiences that were less than uplifting. I tried to escape Christmas altogether in order to avoid the sadness in many ways including but not limited to; living in Arizona for the winter to avoid the external feeling and landscape of previous holidays, I celebrated with the family on summer vacation & all decided to forgo getting together in December, boycotted decorating my space, and had no plans to celebrate with anyone. Running as hard as possible, the holidays came to knock on my door in order to force me to be present and receive love from the most unexpected places.

The first crack in my plan started with an unexpected gift of a baby Christmas tree from my dear friend, Angela. I opened this tiny box to find a perfect replica of my favorite 1960’s aluminum tree with the color wheel and red garland. Tears ran down my cheeks as I remembered how much that tree means to me. It was a major splurge about 20 years ago and has brought great joy in my life. To have a 3-inch version of it sitting on my desk daily brought a warm feeling of unending gratitude.

The next crack in my full proof plan came in the form of my dear friend, Erin, coming to be with me for the entire Christmas weekend. I could not help myself, and planned a weekend getaway in Arizona wine country at the Xanadu getaway ranch. My thought was revolving around disguising this as a very NON-Christmas experience. We had a blast exploring the countryside, tasting wines, and laughing until we cried.

Another crack showed up from the amazing couple who shuttled our tipsy selves around for 2 days. Much to my surprise, Erin and I were invited to their Christmas Eve meal with family and close friends. Initially, I was not comfortable with this, as it would mean I was walking right into the experience of Christmas that I was trying to avoid. In the end, I said, what the hell, let’s go. We were welcomed with open arms and even received handmade knitted neck warmers that we quickly made into head warmers. It was lovely. When leaving this loving experience, tears welled up in my eyes as unending gratitude filled my heart.

The final crack in my plan arrived on New Year’s Eve weekend. There is pressure on reviewing the events of the year and making resolutions for the next year. I review my life all the damn time and make efforts to learn in order to live a full life. So the external pressure can be overwhelming and daunting meanwhile telling us all that we aren’t doing enough. I wanted to curl up in my bed and just allow this NYE to pass on by. Well, that is not what the Universe had in mind for me. A grand gesture loving friend flew into town to surprise me with a weekend filled with adventure. From the sunrise hot air balloon ride, storytelling on a sun-drenched patio, and a mariachi band I was gifted with an unforgettable weekend. On my drive home to begin this New Year, unending gratitude washed over me.

Despite my efforts to simply not engage in the holiday season, I was joyfully forced to participate. Due to my friends & loved ones, the full proof plan to avoid the holidays was cracked wide open!

With Unending Gratitude,