Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Humbug's Holiday Wish to You

Well, it's almost here.  Christmas.  Again.  You know how I know?  My entire neighborhood looks like a Christian version of the Las Vegas Strip.  People who have had lights up and on for over a month now still continue to add to their displays, believe it or not.  As I walk the dogs around in the evening I'll see that someone added a nativity scene next to Santa's sleigh or added lights to their back or side yard now.  It's like a community full of Clark Griswald's.  Even the hippie-dippy neighbors across the street have crept into the season, first with nice little candles in the window, followed by big old neon things in the windows next to them.  I actually have a few less outdoor decorations up than I have had in the past, but I do have some, so I guess I'm like the small little casino on a side street - I'm there, but much more understated.  And that's all you're getting from me.  I'm content to watch everyone else go nuts and then figure out how they're going to pay the electric bill in a month.

I considered not putting much up in the way of decorations at all actually.  But I did, much like I do in every other year no matter what drama is going on because, for one thing, I figured I needed the routine:  keeping things as much the same as I could in a year when things were anything but normal.  And it wouldn't be fair to take a full Christmas away from Marissa.  And finally, I like the way this little house looks all dressed up for Christmas.  So here I sit in my decorated cottage waiting for the holiday to come and go like it does every year and then sort of wondering what the next year will bring.  About the only thing I know for sure so far is that it will have to bring a new TV since the big one in the Sports Cave crapped out yesterday, so in a week when I'm trying to figure out how I spent so much on the holidays while still worrying that people will be disappointed, that was the most unwelcome holiday surprise I could have gotten.  But for now, I'm trying to shake that off and get in the "season" as they say.  So, here is my holiday wish to all of you:

First of all, thank you to all my friends and family for being so supportive, kind and loving no matter what life or my own actions has hit our friendship with.  I never really know what I've done to deserve such wonderful people in my life, but I have been truly blessed with all of you, even if it is a virtual one with many of you now, trying to shrink the miles through Facebook and email.  So, I wish for all of you not only a happy holiday, but a content one.  And not only for tomorrow, but may that extend well past the New Year on until the end of your days.

I know not to wish us Peace on Earth or anything so impossible like that, so I'll wish that you have an inner peace.  Of course, maybe that's what contentment is.  Being at peace with who you are, where you are and what you are:  no matter what that is.  But I think there's a subtle difference too.  Finding an acceptance gives you peace, learning to be happy with who you are leads to contentment, I would hope.  So, long way to say, I wish both for you.

I am hoping that each of you will have a Cheyenne in your life.  Someone or something who loves you more than he or she loves themselves and whom you can in turn love that way too.  Because that is a powerful and empowering feeling.  And a comforting one on cold nights when the Penguins lose big and you're watching it on a crappy upstairs TV.  May you have someone like Marissa who will keep telling you that it'll all work out when you're nearly in tears because that's just one more crappy thing you don't need in your life right now.

But because I know that all your days will not be rosy, life just does not work that way, may you have the strength to carry on through dark and frightening times.  Many of you were my source of strength in just such times.  May I be that in return for you if need be.  But if it's not me, may you find what you need to act as a talisman to rise above whatever tries to bury you.  And I know you can do it:  one thing I can say about all the friends I have ever known, they are all very strong of character.

May your sports teams always be winners (unless you're in Boston or a Flyers fan, then you can go suck it), but if they are not, may you have the grace to know that there is always next year and that's why they call it a "game".

Finally, may each of you find your own Pittsburgh.  And whether that is a place or a state of mind, I can't really say.  But you will know when you get there.  And may you never be lost wherever it ends up being.

And if I've never ever met you and vice versa, and you just stumbled across this post, I still wish the same for you too.  As the Irish would say, "May you be as contented as Christmas finds you, all the year round."

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