Day 12 ~ The Power of Gratitude: How Being Thankful Can Transform Your Life
Today I simply want to say, THANK YOU!
The end of another year is quickly approaching and although I am grateful for every year, I am blessed as this one was surely a challenging one.
Many of you know that I was violated by a local doctor and had to file a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the end of last year. It took almost a year to close the case, ending with him receiving yet another slap on the wrist and having to take some more courses on how to conduct himself properly. If I continued to pursue this, my life would be ruined. So, instead, I spent the year working on getting through the bad dreams and building up an understanding that I am alive, and he will not hurt me again.... Onwards and upwards!
Then at the end of this year we had the break-in at the Parlour and Jaybird Digital Arts. BUT once again, we came out on top of it. My camera was returned to us and all I ended up losing was some money, some photos, and a bit of security. We put in security systems and cameras both at home and the office and Parlour and that brought us back to feeling a bit more secure and hopeful. Keep Calm and Carry On!
So many of you shared these moments with me. So many of you came to hug me, cry with me, bring us things to cheer our spirits and help our businesses. So many of you brought us gifts, hugs and sent us love. I truly mean it when I say how very grateful, we are for you.
I am not sure how many times I can say THANK YOU and how very GRATEFUL we are for all of you before you become tired of hearing it... I hope I can say it forever and that you will understand that the more times I say it, the more years I am able to service you and open my doors to you, the more and more those words become even more meaningful! Those words build with every year because you have supported us through so much!
This year was a lot. But... we have our health, and I will continue to remain positive because I just don't do negative well. I don't like comparisons and really do my best never to entertain that. There is always someone worse off, this is true... however that does not take away from the pain of any individual event for the person who is going through it. My encounters and emotions are real just as someone else's are to them. I do try to understand that things can ALWAYS be worse but that does not mean that what I am going through at any given moment is not worthy of my emotions.
I am, however, very grateful for every moment. I am grateful that things were not worse. I am grateful that this year held a lot of growing and a lot of learning. Because of the break-in for instance, we put in security. Maybe this will prevent something worse from occurring.
So, on this day, the last newsletter of the 12 Days of Christmas series of newsletters, I would like to touch on the symbolism of day 12:
The twelve drummers drumming stand for the twelve doctrinal points of the Apostles’ Creed, which are:
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.
Your Mission: Pick one! There has to be something in there that piques your curiosity or causes some sort of consternation, so pick it! Find out about it. Do a little armchair theologian sleuthing and answer all your questions about it.
I am not Catholic, as you know, however I did get to catholic church with my family. I often watch sermons because I think there is something to be found in many of them... good messages and reminders. So, although I do not worship in this way, I do respect you if you do. I also think that there is something here for everyone to reflect on. Something to delve into and see where it leads.
For me this year, it will be the "forgiveness of sins". I was hurt by a few things over the past two years, and I understand that I can carry that with me, or I can forgive and move forward with my life in peace. That is what I choose to do. But that is easy to say and not so easy to do. For me this reflection on "the forgiveness of sins" will take time. But I plan to do it. To reflect! I plan to try my best to understand all the nuances of the things that happened.
Maybe you too can find something here to reflect upon?
What are your Christmas Traditions? Is your house filled with the smell of baking as you prepare treats for neighbours and friends? Are you raising a family and have the wonder and magic of children filling your home with excitement and laughter. Are your children grown and off to college and now you feel the loneliness of a quieter holiday season with a dream and anticipation of one day revisiting the energetic days of children's excitement when you become a grandparent? Has Christmas become too commercial? Is Christmas not your celebration for your beliefs. Is this a time of year when your holiday is not recognized as much? I mean, why do we all have to close at Christmas but not Hanukkah, winter solstice or any number of other celebrations?
This time of year, can be so many things for so many people.
If it is magical and it brings you joy... CONGRATULATIONS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS! You are so very lucky and blessed to have this be a magical time for you and your loved ones.
If this ia time where you feel loss, emptiness, loneliness, grief or any negative emotion... I WISH YOU ALSO A HAPPY HOLIDAY and hope that you can find some joy and a glimmer of happiness.
I went through this feeling of emptiness during this time. My MATCH and I never had children and now that we are not children ourselves and I felt the emptiness. I thought I would share what I did to combat this in hopes that it might help you if you are facing this too. AND for those of you who already have excitement and joy... you too might find some fun things to include in your own celebrations.
I celebrate winter solstice or Yule now as my chosen celebration. I went through a phase where I was anti Christmas because I was a bit irritated that no one recognizes my holiday... but I grew up celebrating Christmas with my family and it wasn't until I was an adult that I changed so, I found that there doesn't need to be a one or the other. Actually, if I had it my way, I would celebrate all the winter holidays with everyone! I welcome all joy, which is what I think/ hope these days all represent! A time to be grateful!
I was not sure what Christmas day could be for us now that we were on our own with no children to share the morning with... and I felt sad and lonely. We no longer wanted or needed gifts and there was a whole day where everyone around us had children to celebrate with, family to visit and gift shopping to do and we did not.
I didn't like how it made me feel. That made me feel even worse because I remembered the times with Christmas we sooooo fun and special and magical and I longed for that again. Of course, you cannot have it again, not the way it was when you were a child, but I sat and contemplated it to try to find an answer to how I could not be sad, because I wanted to be happy.
So, I came up with TRADITIONS! YES, the dreaded traditions! Some of you feel that traditions hold us back, but I am not really meaning it in that way. I mean that I have created things that I do, only at Christmas that make this day SPECIAL for my MATCH and myself. We created things that we know we want to do at this time of the year that allow us to fill our days and share with others. On Christmas day itself, we spend a lounging day where we don't get up early. We make a most ELFishous breakfast filled with sugary goodness. We will play with Norman, watch Christmas movies, read and play games, eat treats and delicious and healthy meals throughout the day. We make phone calls to loved ones and send text messages. We take silly pictures and pamper each other, showering each other with love. We make a conscious effort to do special things on this day that don't get done on other days. The food we eat is particular to this day too.
Doing this has made this day SPECIAL again. It has given us something to look forward to. Walking over to Neighbours houses with unexpected trays of treats for them to share with their families has brought us joy. Snow blowing a senior's driveway on this day brings us joy. Making snow angels in the snow, dancing to Christmas music... whatever we come up with, our traditions keep growing.
The first year was really challenging. The next year we had created more traditions, the next year after that there were even more! This year I am adding that to begin the day, we must have Christmas punch! I posted the recipe in a previous post. We'll try it... if we don't like it... it will be a laugh and we will go on with something else next year! EGGNOG!!! I LOVE IT! I only drink it during the holidays! RUM CAKE and FRUIT CAKE! I LOVE THEM and only eat them during this time of the year! They are something very special to look forward to.
Maybe you are alone during this time. What about a self-love pamper day that you plan for. A routine that you create for a spa day... filled with special concoctions that you make to apply to your body and face and hair! Satin sheets that you ONLY use on this night. A meal preparation to make any chef proud... just for you. Light the candles, set the table... make it special! YOU ARE WORTH CREATING MAGIC!
I look forward to Christmas again... and I have different traditions for Yule.... very different than my Christmas ones. Call this holiday whatever you want to. It doesn't have to be religious for you if that does not suit you. But if we are all going to be forced to be closed and nothing is open... make it fun instead of being resentful! Life is way too short to waste days on being upset over things you have no control over... like rain on your hair day! YOU are beautiful and time is moving forward whether you like it or not.... so, CHOOSE HAPPY!
Did you know that through the library you can take College courses for FREE?
I have done several of these over the past few years and absolutely loved them. I completely forgot about them until the other day and thought this might be a really fun thing to share with you. Maybe through the winter months when many of us are inside more often, you could find a course that will increase your brain matter and will entertain you too. There are so many courses to choose from. I have taken several writing courses now and really found them all incredible! As a matter of fact... I think I will enroll in another soon.