Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Silent Night

Happy Christmas Eve!
Can you believe it's already here?
I am hoping we get some more snow today.
It finally started to feel (and look!) like Christmas yesterday when we finally had white falling from the sky.
I hadn't realized how much I look forward to the snow.
I don't think I would do well in a climate that never had winter.
Even though the cold begins to feel like it will never end once March rolls just can't replace the magic of each season.
I have made a decision that no matter what comes my way today....I refuse to get worked up or stressed about it.
I am just going to enjoy it.  
I feel pretty well prepared for all things everything should go off without a hitch.
Last night, I spent a couple of hours with my daughter, and two close friends, rehearsing for one of tonight's Masses.
There were a couple of pieces that everyone had ahead of time, and we just needed to put them together.
I decided that we needed some more material, so I threw another 4-5 pieces at them...including Pentatonix's arrangement of "Mary Did You Know."
( arrangement of their written for four women.)
Because why not learn a crazy, accapella piece the day before you have to 
"perform" it, right?
As insane as all of it was.....I have to tell was also soul food.
It's one thing to work on something by yourself, or to start to put something together with a couple people, but once you have the whole group together, and things start to is magical.
And it is exactly what I needed to fill that stressed out, stretched-too-thin, running on empty wasteland that has been plaguing me for the past few weeks.

I did miss out on seeing my friends last night.
It was our annual "Diva Christmas Party."
I could have gone...and probably should have gone...but I chose to stay in.
I was exhausted from working on music until 2am the night before, and I still had music binders to put together, and other work that needed to get done last night...because it would have really stressed me out if I had to scramble to do it in the morning.
I felt I was a big loser for not going.
But then I took a moment, and realized that although it would have been great to catch up with everyone....I really needed to do what was best for me right now.  Even if it felt selfish.  
Christmas Eve is one of the biggest "events" of the year, as far as my job I need to be on top of my game.  There is nothing worse than feeling like I'm not prepared or organized.  Or feeling completely exhausted.
So, I allowed myself to put my needs first...and get what I needed to do taken care of, so I could feel good about today.
 And, was the first time I have been able to sit on the couch and work (rather than running around, or hunching over a table) in the past two weeks.  My achey back was very grateful.

I have been doing a pretty good job of feeling sorry for myself this entire month.  Whining over how busy I am, and playing the "woe is me" game.
Yesterday morning, Mark took his car in to have it looked at, because it's been making this awful noise.
They called back to let him know the wheel bearing (sp?) needed to be replaced...for $800.
Then, they called again to say they were going to have to break some other part to get at it, which, (after replacing the part they would break) would increase the bill to $1200.
You may recall we JUST got both of our cars back from the body shop last week.
So...the outside of both vehicles look amazing.  (To the tune of $1000 in insurance deductibles.)  
Well, they didn't end up breaking whatever they thought they were going to we only had to spend $900.
However, $1900 in two weeks on a teacher/church lady salary the week of Christmas = bah humbug! 
I continued with my pity party after this news.  Poor me...literally!
Then, I received a call....from my dear friend Pastor Melinda.
She and I did a wedding together three years ago for an adorable couple.
This past weekend, they were in a car accident, and the bride was killed.
She was only 27 years old.  Her husband was injured, but survived.
The family had asked if we take care of the funeral service/music for them.
Suddenly....everything I had been worrying/whining/woe-ing about came to a complete halt.
They had just hit a patch of ice, and their world changed forever.
That is how quickly life can change....or end.
Why on earth am I worrying about whether or not my presents are wrapped? (they are not.)
Who cares if I'm less than organized for all of the upcoming services?  They will happen whether I am ready or not.
Sure, these car bills suck...but I HAVE a car, and my family is safe...and luckily, I had some extra jobs this month that will help pay for these unexpected expenses.
I have NOTHING to complain about.
I just sat at the table and sobbed.
I had only known this couple briefly....but the thoughts of what the husband must be going through, along with her family and loved just breaks my heart.
The older I get, the more I realize that I am not invincible.
I will not be here I better darn well use this time I have wisely, and enjoy it too!

This is one reason I love the start of a new year.
I love a fresh, new beginning.
A time to just start over.
I am going to use this next week to really think about some changes I want to make in the new year.
I'm excited to shake things up a little bit. 
But, for today....I am going to relish each moment.
Cherish all of the little things that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Make an effort to reach out to that person who seems lonely.
Be extra patient with the person who is obviously overwhelmed, and could probably use a kind word, and maybe a little help.
Be nice to the cranky shopper who could learn what a difference being kind watching you.
And most of all....even if they are driving you crazy (not that I have any experience with this) make sure your family and loved ones know how much they mean to you.
Sometimes, the smallest gestures can make the biggest impressions.
I wish you all a magical and wonderful Christmas Eve!!

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