Today is the day before Christmas. The last shopping day. The last day to go out and buy food if we’re to have a proper meal for Christmas. I have three baskets of laundry piled high: His dirty clothes; my dirty clothes; clean clothes and towels waiting to be folded. We’ve a tree (see photo above) with lights and an angel on top, but nothing else, and yet, I think it’s the most beautiful tree we’ve ever owned. It is perfect, is it not?
I am tired. Really, really tired.
This has been my refrain, my mantra — every single day this year.
After months of trying to find the cause, I learned that I have severe sleep apnea. A machine recorded how many times I stopped breathing in my sleep, which turned out to be an average of once every 75 seconds. I was hoping Santa would bring me a CPAP machine for Christmas, but it looks like that’s not going to happen. (A higher power than Santa requires that he fill out forms and documentation in triplicate while also procuring the eyeball of a Komodo dragon, three sets of fruit bat wings, and a pair of fuzzy dice before he’s allowed to deliver medical equipment.)
All of that aside, this is not a post just about me. It’s about you, too, my readers, my friends, my family, my tribe. What I wish for us all.
I’ve had plenty of down time this year. Hours spent lying in bed–not sleeping–waiting for the brain fog to lift, the morning headache to subside. Time enough to think about all the important stuff, or my interpretation of it, anyway. (Everything is subjective.)
And what I’ve come up with is this: Life sucks.
Life is incredibly difficult and unfair. It’s full of nasty isms — racism, sexism, ageism, terrorism. Everybody hates something, or someone. People are mean, politicians corrupt. All over the world people are suffering and sick, afraid and lonely. People are dying. Too many are contemplating suicide.
Why should I stick around for this? Why should any of us?
It’s been that kind of year.
And then someone on a social media site shares a cute cat video or (even better) the video with a penguin laughing — laughing — and for a few seconds I forget about how hard life is. It occurs to me that life has always sucked, yet here we are, still hanging in there, wending our way towards grace and a little kindness through whatever means we can.
Tomorrow is Christmas, the Boy is home, and music and laughter will abound despite everything else. Despite piles of laundry, an unadorned tree, and gifts that didn’t get wrapped (sorry, guys!). Despite death and disease, hatred and terrorism, love, hope and charity still persist.
Wherever you are, however you hurt, hold on to the fact that there are people who love you. There is generosity and love all around. Sometimes it’s hard to see, but it’s there, I promise you. You are enough. You have done all you can.
Tomorrow is another day, another step forward on whatever path we choose. An added bonus here in the Northern Hemisphere is that we will have another minute or so of light.
That’s good enough for me.
May the coming year be better for us all. May we all find joy in whatever nook or cranny it resides. But most of all, I wish us peace.