Monday, December 13, 2010

I'd like a pony and some GI Joes.

As we draw closer to Christmas and the closing of the year I find myself in a contemplative state, deep in inner questioning about how we choose to celebrate and why, doing my best not to let the pressures and stress of this month weigh me down. As an adult without children and no firm roots in religious belief i move through these days with cautious care, breathing in my truth and trying to remain open to some of this holiday magic and cheer. 
It's not always easy.
Perhaps it was the build up of a few childhood Christmases gone weird due to family bullshit drama that didn't necessarily touch me directly but was absorbed nonetheless or maybe it's about not having children with whom to share in these seasonal times. Whatever the case may be, i am aware that December has always been a month where i feel like I'm wearing a suit of armor and my heart feels like it's wrapped in thick saran.
I'm no Grinch and i won't poo-poo on other peoples joy and fun but it's hard for me not to sink just a little bit and I'm at the point in my life where I'd like to know why. I'd like to truly feel this time of year and for it not to be at all forced.
I suppose living in a climate that offers only a cock-tease of a Winter for all of five minutes isn't helping a whole lot. 8 months of rain and gray will take the wind out of most sun and snow worshipers sails. Living in a very young city that isn't famously known for it's overly friendly and open inhabitants could factor in as well. We're not horrible to each other, but if I'm out of my own cozy neighborhood then chances are that i am virtually a stranger who's forced to keep to himself for fear of being judged as weird or whatever. Eye contact and friendly hello's to strangers? Yyyyeah, not so much.
And I'd rather take a white hot needle to the eye than brave the fucking madness that is shopping. I find it hard to feel jolly when throngs of people around me are so lost in the fervor of 'getting stuff' that they can't see their heart for the green in their wallet, encouraged by the constant barrage and pressure from every angle to shop here and buy more. In many ways the spirit seems to have been lost and in fact, i wonder how many people really even know WHY they're celebrating besides it being the 'thing that we do' come December. I'm sure many have their reasons and i don't want to accuse people of being thoughtless soulless lemmings, although looking from outside the ultra-consumerist box it's hard not to fall into that role of judgement. It's hard not to feel just a little inadequate. It's hard not to feel like an outsider and to react by resenting the whole thing. Especially when I'm not pulling in the kind of money I'd like to be or to have a huge family 'back home' who i can spend this time with. Having those things might make it feel different, but i shouldn't have to want anything more than i have in order to make this a meaningful and truly magical time. Don't get me wrong, i love what and who i have in my life and wouldn't trade a shred of it for all the tea Chinatown, but i have to wonder sometimes about the lingering hints of sadness i feel when i hear about the massive family gatherings or how my heart drops a little when i see the inside of a home fully decked out, tree pregnant with ornaments and gifts. In a way....some small way, i kind of wish i had that, even once.

Okay, so it's not all horrible. Maybe I'm being too hard on people and myself, allowing my 'stuff' to color in how i feel around this time of year. It's not like I've had a string of terribly sad Christmases and i can definitely feel a shift in energy that is positive and nice to be around at the best of times. I love the freshness in the air and cheeks that have been dyed red by the temperature drop. I love the bit of snow that we do get and i love seeing my folks and overeating at Christmas supper. I love the stupid holiday movies and the classics and i love having someone to share them with. I love that my Britt appreciates this time of year so much and is totally shameless in her excitement over it. I love that some of my friends are celebrating their first with children who are old/young enough to believe in the magic. And yes, i even love the magic and mythological story of Santa and the "true meaning of Christmas".
In the end, for me i think it's about intention. I think it's about taking hold of what feels right and true in the heart and making it my own. I think it's about leaving the consumer pressure and all the bullshit at the door and getting to the heart of matters, which is love, respect, unity and leaving people to their own stories and stress. For too long now i have taken on too much and for too long now i have held the idea that this whole business is simply that, too much. 
My life is what it is and as stated in a previous post i have so very much to be thankful for, and that grows with each passing year. I have more love and patience than i believe i have ever had and I have no business sinking into a selfish depression just because I'm not living some "ideal" that the Province newspaper said i should be living. Fuck that. I don't need a new Sony Google TV and i certainly don't need thirty extra loved ones to think about when gifting. My simple and humble life is beautiful and from this moment on i intend to make the best of this season, carrying it on into the next. That's all i want, is an easy heart and love based words to be falling from my tongue and in my thoughts. The rest is cream and i will remain appreciative to the end like this kid.

Thank you i love you, and merry whatever to all.

1 comment:

  1. I hear you about all the shopping bullshit that goes on at Christmas. Last year my mother was going through her usual mid-life crisis and donated a wack of money to a woman who raised goats in Africa. As strange as it was, I think it was one of the best Christmases I've ever had. We didn't do gifts, we just bought a herd of goats for starving Africans. It's a cliche, but it was nice to avoid the mall for one year.