As I walked through a department store today while making a quick purchase, I was over-whelmed at the Christmas displays---music---sentiments---merchandise. Jesus and Santa were on every row! For many this is truly the most wonderful time of the year. I also remember being stressed to the max trying to make the day/days perfect. I have since learned there is only One who is perfect and it is NOT me. So I have put the perfection aspirations aside and gone for mediocre.
MANY-MANY others look forward to the annual month long celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas with not the same anticipation of joy. Life does not stand still and things change--and so the circle that we are a part of changes. This will be the third holiday since my circle changed permanently--- two holidays have passed with me as a single woman. I find myself still trying to figure out what the new normal is--and how to make it all joyful. It can be daunting!
In all honesty--the first year was surreal---I have very little memory of that holiday. There are gaps in my memories of the last 5 years - perhaps God's kind intervention to erase some of the painful memories. I went back and looked at my blogs from the past two holidays, there are no pictures and not much description. Last Christmas I do remember because I had a new grandson and was VERY busy helping with the little family. My focus is now on the holiday season coming in a new city, with different surroundings, and how do I find that new normal. How do I not only survive but relish and enjoy the holidays? I have come up with some ideas of "Things To Do" and will be sharing them with you, but today a little more background.
It is NOT going to be the same---when the cast of characters has changed--and a leading role is vacant---the play may need a rewrite. We ALL grieve differently as I talked about in the book. I would dare say there is no textbook explanation of grief nor is there a definite timeline. At the same time, while so different, our grief can also be so universal. What works for me-may not work for you--but it can give you pause to consider what will work. Bottom line--this Thanksgiving and Christmas will not look like those of the past--but when does a new one ever look entirely like the former ones--and though the "Ghost of Christmas Past" may visit you in your dreams and memories--this year is the "Christmas of the Present" and it is what you have before you. How disappointing to our loved ones if we do not make the most of today! I will be so disappointed in myself if I do not figure our how to move forward and find that new normal.
Today's normal will not look like yesterday's and that is how life works. It is ever evolving and changing as we march toward the future. At the end of our timeline, what a blessing if we can look back to ALL the Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays and count them as a blessing and joy. Come back tomorrow and I will give you some of my ideas of how to adopt new ideas as we adapt to our change and embrace the day the Lord has given us.
"This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."