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And so this is Christmas

image from creationinateapot.com       The Holly and the Ivy

False friendship, like the ivy, decays and ruins the walls it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports Richard Burton
And so this is Christmas

There is a certain element of “Why are you doing this?” It’s a question that surges through my mind often at midnight. Most people, or many people, are already in bed or at least preparing for bed. Their day is almost over and they are calm, relaxed and settled for the night. It is time to get into the rest and healing mode and allow our body to repair and recharge for the next day.

So I ask myself once again, why am I sitting here at this time of night?  The answer is fairly simple.

And so this is Christmas

Am I tired? – Well yes I am. It’s been a big day. In fact it’s been a five big days for me, and I struggle with having to accept the reality of that. After all, Christmas only comes once a year. This year my husband did much of the physical work getting ready for the big day. In fact we both shared the work of readying the turkey. What I couldn’t manage I instructed him on what to do. Not being able to do it all myself was irritating.  I’m sure it was quite trying for him too!

And so this is Christmas – Christmas Day

Technically, Christmas Day should have been relatively easy going as we were spending the day alone. There was neither family nor friends calling in that day, we were a duo of orphans for the day. Yet somehow, the very fact that it was Christmas, the expectations I had of the day, made it a day where, by days end I was feeling drained. Happy but none the less drained. I already know that this had to do with the change in my routine of many decades (oh I’m so ancient!) transitioning into a new phase. It’s something I have to work on and it is already part of my plan for 2014.

And so this is Christmas – Boxing Day

Boxing Day was a special day; my son and his girlfriend came down to spend it with us. Once again my husband did much of the work, under supervision, but by the end of the day I was exhausted. I had a beautiful day but I drastically under estimated how I was going to respond to the physical part of the day. From spending whenever I needed to resting, to spending all the day talking, joking and reminiscing. Including preparing, with help, the lunch, and afterwards, the clean-up, it was a surprisingly big change. Whilst being really happy to see them I was truly disappointed that I hadn’t coped better. Reality can be a harsh task master or task mistress.

And so this is Christmas – Friday

Hence, Friday was a mandatory day of rest. It had been decided beforehand when we realised my daughter would be unable to get down for Boxing Day and due to work pressures we agreed to travel up to Brisbane to see her. Once again I underestimated how much the mere trip would tire me. I find it frustrating, aggravating and annoying, and I have yet to come to terms with those feelings. We had a lovely lunch, more talk, laughter, reminiscing, and I also got to play with our dogs. One was mine but they have both been together since puppies and, since it would have been too difficult on the dogs, or was it on Natalie, she ended up with both dogs.  It was wonderful and nostalgic at the same time seeing them again. It is astounding how draining the emotions can be, and yet eliminating them reduces the humanity of a person. I’ll stick with emotions and learn how to deal with these things in the coming year.

So this evening I’m feeling ‘fried’.  The aches and pains are back and the brain fog is starting to creep from the corners of my mind with each passing minute. I knew it was going to happen when we arrived home and I could feel the stiffness as I tried to get out of the car.

And so this is Christmas – Today

I mentioned in an earlier post, “I’m a work in progress” and I accept that I am a spirit having a human existence. All these physical and emotional knots are things I have to learn to deal with. That’s not to say they have to be easy, nor even hard, they simply are to be learned. I have time, plenty of time in which to learn these things. There will be days when I wish I didn’t have to learn them, days when I wish it would all go away. I’m hopeful there will be days when I can sail through these lessons with equanimity and aplomb, but I have a way to go yet before I reach that point.

And so this is Christmas

quote by Audrey Hepburn

For now, I’m doing the best I can. I hope I see things realistically, without rose coloured glasses and without too much of the ‘poor me’ syndrome which I despise.  No, I don’t like this situation but I have to learn to deal with it, without becoming a psychoanalysing “Dr Phil”, and without feeling sorry for myself at every twist and turn. A little is okay, but too much is…. Well it’s too much. I’m sure my husband will let me know if I go too far down that track.

So, I’m hoping everyone has enjoyed the festive season thus far and is gearing up for New Year if they are going to be ‘doing it’. Personally I think I’ll be spending it quietly with my cards and books. There is a New Moon on the 1st of January and I will most probably get myself ready for that. It’s something my husband and I look forward to. That’s the plan at this point in time. You can have a drink for me.

Blessings.  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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“Trying to plan for the future without knowing the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.”
David Boorstin

Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions come in all shapes and sizes. There are those who celebrate on Christmas Eve, celebrations on Christmas Day and yet others on Boxing Day. There are religious traditions and non-religious traditions. What they all have in common is family, or if not family, the gathering together of people. For me, Christmas has always meant family, together, sharing, laughing and having a good time, and for the most part I have been very fortunate.

Christmas has always been a time when people gather together and it has been a time when people try to extend a hand in friendship to others, especially those who have little. It is beautiful offering a hot meal (in cold countries) and something else in hotter climes to those who have little or nothing. The gratitude is palpable and makes the effort worthwhile. To me it’s one of the Christmas Traditions that are worth keeping.

Christmas Traditions

image from http://www.smh.com.au                                   The Salvos helping hand

This year has been a year of change for me. All my previously held family Christmas Traditions have been changed and I’m finding it difficult to adapt quite so easily.  For the first time my husband and I had Christmas Day alone, just the two of us. After cooking Christmas dinner for my family for over three decades, it felt – not quite right, as if I was slightly out of sync with the way things should have been.

We spoke to our respective families, those who would or could. Such is family life. My son and his girlfriend had the Boxing Day spread with us and it was a wonderful day. My daughter we spend the day with on Saturday. Yet, the change to my ‘Christmas Traditions’ feels a little alien.

I find myself feeling ashamed by my thoughts. I have so much more than some. Even though things have changed I still have my family. They care enough to spend time with us and laughing over Christmas’ past.  This is what Christmas Traditions are all about.

I think of the families separated by distance and cannot be together. I think of the soldiers in other

Christmas Traditions

image from kindnessblog.com

countries who cannot be with their families and I think of the people on the street who have nowhere to go. I think of so many things and wonder what has made the difference so pronounced.

Since I start to reflect on the past year once Boxing Day winds down, I look at how the year has progressed and how I have changed. It sounds a little ridiculous to say I had refused to acknowledge I was ill, but that has been truer than I really care to admit. I have fought it, tried by denying it, to make it go away or have less impact and, as a consequence, paid the price. I have reached a point, where I can no longer deny the truth. I now have to be realistic and balance out the various aspects of my life.

By no means is this giving in. As 2013 draws to a close it is time to review everything which has occurred this year. There is time to look at the year and take what has worked well and expand on it; take what has worked sometimes and either improve on it or change it; and those things which have not worked, they need to be looked at and ‘tossed out’ if necessary.  Time to start new Christmas Traditions!

Christmas Traditions

image from megayachtnews.com

It is only by reviewing the year realistically that I can make 2014 a better year. That means taking the good and making it better and getting rid of what has failed.  It’s not simply a case of making “New Year’s Resolutions” because they rarely last long enough to be effective. Rather it is this review process which promotes growth in a positive fashion.

By being willing to throw out those things which are not working I am giving the Universe space to allow those things I am planning, room to grow. My “Life Change Program” has a fifteen point review for me to look at. There are questions which help me to hone in on the successes or the not quite successes, to the things which simply didn’t work. I will use it to make my plan for 2014 so that when the year begins I will have my blueprint ready.

I am going to factor in my health this time, healing time, work time, fun time, anything which will help make 2014 a brilliant year, because, the alignment of the stars tells us that it will be a super year if you are ready to make the most of it.  Five days of planning, for my husband and me individually and together, as a couple and for business. Everything we need to have a fabulous and successful year. Then look out 2014, here I come!

Blessings for a bright year

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2013

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Christmas Day is almost over as around the world the countdown starts. The excitement of the younger children has reached its peak and they’re starting to be grumpy. The older kids are wishing they could go out and visit friends instead of family.  Mums and Dads the world over are beginning to run out of steam after the late night from gifts which needed to be assembled and presents wrapped and placed under the tree. Wishing for a few hours sleep before the day began. But what’s happening with our Christmas Soldier?

I haven’t watched or heard the news all day, but I wondered – what about the Christmas Soldier in far-flung corners of the world? I wonder how their Christmas Day has been, is, or will be? Far from home and loved ones, whether in harm’s way or not, has Santa managed to find his way to those far-flung shores to visit the Christmas Soldier?

The Christmas Soldier gives their time unstintingly so we might be safe at home. They spend their time keeping peace in other lands, so other people might be secure. The Christmas Soldier may not get much ‘peace on earth’ they may not get much Christmas cheer, but they are thought of by so many, who wish them safe at  home.
I heard a story that the Christmas Soldier may not be able to use the word Christmas, and I cannot help but question why? Is it not Christmas? Are they not Soldiers? Are they not then a Christmas Soldier? They stand shoulder to shoulder to keep the peace, are they not entitled to a piece of the peace? Just  for a short time.

We sit at home, full and replete, the table groaning under leftovers. A glass in hand we watch the news or a movie to keep the kids happy. We have all the comforts of home. There is no need for us to be on alert. There is nothing to cause us to tense at the sound of a car backfire or a firecracker going off.  Not so the Christmas Soldier.

He is on guard for anything out of the norm. He watches vigilantly for any strange movement. He listens carefully for the out-of-place noise. He is tense and watchful as he stares at a foreign landscape.  It is Christmas and if he is fortunate he will get the “Army”  “Navy” or “Air Force”  version of Christmas dinner. Those in the war zones will have… their own version of Christmas cheer. The Christmas Soldier version of Christmas dinner.

So wherever they may be, let’s say a prayer that they are safe. A prayer to wish them a happy Christmas, peace and joy with their fellow soldiers, free from harm. And more, that the New Year will see them safe at home, with their loved ones and families. That’s my wish for the Christmas Soldier.

Blessings  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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