Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 24, 2009

I am still learning my way around blogging, and accidentally posted the last blog before I was finished. Maybe that was meant to be, since I was having trouble organizing my thoughts. LOL

As I sit here, enjoying the peace, the view and my life, I am torn. Should I write or should I revel in the moment? Maybe I can do both? I am not sure, as I have never been able to capture a moment via camera and also actually be IN that moment at the same time. We shall see.

Tomorrow is Christmas day. We will likely celebrate with a lovely meal tonight, and then sleep in and relax in the morning. The only thing that could make this day better, is to have my other daughter with me. It might not make her day better, though, since she is loving her new independent life, working, loving, partying, as only and 18 year old can do. I miss her, but I remember being in her shoes. Life is definitely for living in one's own way, in one's own time.

Having her gone is strange. I miss her, but I do not mourn her being gone. I worry about her escapades, yet they bring back my own younger days, mostly remembered fondly.

Mothering teens and young adults contains many a paradox. Missing, yet not missing them. Worrying, yet remembering. Wishing to hold them close, yet setting them free to navigate the currents of their lives. I didn't expect it to be easy to let go and watch from afar, and, in some ways it is not, but mostly it is! The whole empty nest thing seems to be a myth for me, which is definitely a good thing. Maybe because I have plans for the rest of my own life?

December 23, 2009

Yesterday, a facebook post sent me on a quest to define what I know but have spent years not defining. A nice person commented that saying Merry Christmas was always acceptable, since Christmas is a Christian holiday. I posted that saying Happy Holidays respects ALL people.

I have been very uncomfortable, for a very long time, with the concept of only Christianity being "acceptable." Even the idea that it is okay to wish those of other faiths a Merry Christmas, sits wrong with me. It didn't always feel that way. In the past, I believed that wishing goodness via this salutation was acceptable. Maybe it had to do with where I lived and the openmindedness of those with whom I was surrounded. It is different now. I wish to honor ALL people, and I wish to not make anyone uncomfortable that worships otherwise, or worships not at all.

Researching the origins of Christmas this morning, has led me to a few insights into myself. Each year, Christmas becomes harder and harder, and seems more and more of a chore, less and less heartfelt. Perhaps it is my instinctual knowledge of the violent origins of some of the traditions that I have come to dislike?

For several years, we have left home and gone to Orlando to spend time during this holiday. In 2007, we spent 4 weeks, over Christmas and New Year. My gift to each of my children that year was an annual pass to Disneyworld. I had to work on my guilt at not having gifts to unwrap, but we had a wonderful time together, and my girls did not seem to feel bad that they had nothing to unwrap.

Last year, we came home a few days before Christmas day, and this year, we again spend Christmas and New Year in Orlando.

I don't know if it is the economy or just something cyclical, but I have not seen much Christmas "spirit" when I have been out and about, and I feel that, at my age, it is time to address what I feel and see around me.

The whole gift giving concept this year has sort of crawled under my skin. Money is tight this year, and gift giving feels like a chore instead of a heartfelt desire to give something that will be valued by the recipient. And reading on the origins of gifting reinforces my feelings that maybe it is time to quit giving because it is mandated, and instead only give because it is my desire to give.