“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
E. E. Cummings (12/15/2017 morning quote Momentum Dash)
For the record, the President didn’t put the “Merry” back in Christmas, but a wonderful group of women did. In my case, a Merry Christmas required purposefully exiting from my own little pity party, some backbone, humility, a sister, and some friends. The President and his ridiculously self-righteous tweets were absent.
Yesterday morning I spoke with my sister and shared my blues about being alone Christmas Day. Bridget will be with her father today, and I am not making Christmas dinner, which we’ve always shared with my parents. I was dreading being alone. In spite of my little pep talk, about subtracting “no” and “can’t” from my vocabulary, I was falling right into the trap I desperately wanted to avoid: Self-pity.
Soon after I spoke with my sister, I sat inside my car in the parking lot of Mariano’s. My shopping list scratched in red pen on the back of some fancy envelope, its contents never to be seen because whatever it was selling I wasn’t buying. A sense of dread came over me and oh no, the tears, were coming, too. I placed the list on the passenger seat, unzipped my wallet and pulled out my phone and typed the following message:
Then I went about my business, visiting the butcher, the pharmacist, and the smoothie maker. As I walked through the aisles, my phone buzzed with solicited invites, accompanied by apologies from friends who said they should have invited me before being asked.
My pity party ended the moment I asked for help.
Bridget and I went to my parents for Christmas Eve. My sister and her husband spent the night with us. We watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” before we hit the hay. This morning we’ll open presents and share breakfast before everyone goes their own way.
Today, I’m going to attend mass, where I’ll reflect on the best line from It’s a Wonderful Life:
“Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence.” [Inscribed in a copy of Tom Sawyer]
Later this afternoon, I’ll make my rounds visiting with friends. I’ll share vegan Shepherd’s pie for dinner, with my friend Linda and her daughter, in between stops at the Seaman’s, O’Brien’s, Clintons, and Rusins. I’ll call my parents, and check Facebook, liking and loving posts from friends and family.
Above all, I’ll be grateful and thankful. Grateful for friends and thankful for family, all of whom remind me what a wonderful life this is.