On September 16th I woke up and got my girls ready for their second full week of school. I checked emails and scrolled through Facebook, where I found statuses heralding the arrival of pumpkin flavored everything.
Fall was definitely on its way. The sun was a little lower in the sky, there was a hint of a chill in the air. It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was… until I was walking Shannon to school, and I saw IT. Shit. It’s back. The sign. And along with it came a wave of nausea.
99 Days Til Christmas.
This LED sign doesn’t just count the days. It also counts the hours, minutes, and seconds.
Ugh. This sign will be here for the next 3 months. I will walk, run, skip, or drive past it a thousand times. And every time, it will test my yoga. It tests me on so many levels. It aggravates me for so very many reasons. And then it aggravates me that it aggravates me. Sigh.
Let’s put the whole Christmas issue aside, the religion of it, and let’s just talk about the holiday, the secular Xmas. Because it’s all about decorations right here. This is the house that wins the Clark Griswold Decorating Award every single year. They really go all out. Their display is bright enough to block out the North Star, and confuse even the wisest of men. They have spirit, yes they do. I’m not sure if Christmas is about the birth of Christ for them, or just about the Holiday. But like I said, let’s put that aside for today. This isn’t about how they feel about Christmas, or their giant premature countdown sign. It’s about how I see it.
And here’s how I see it. Yay! Oh, joy! 99 days from now it will be Christmas. Such a happy day. It will be awesome. We will be happy. Let’s count the days ‘til that day. That day when we see our happy family, exchange mandatory gifts, listen to Uncle Bob’s stories about how that son of a bitch boss screwed him again, listen to the old folks as they categorize this year’s ailments, be happy, sing some songs, watch the yule log, drink a little too much wine. Did I say, We will be happy!?
It just seems a little crazy that someone is already counting the days ‘til Christmas. But is it? Is that really any different than saying “Only two months ‘til my vacation”, (then I’ll be happy), or waking up on Monday morning, and saying, “Only 5 days til Friday”? (then I’ll be happy). It’s not different. Not at all. It’s living for the future instead of being content in the moment.
I have spent a lot of time and money on yoga and meditation to get me to a place where I can live in the moment. Here I am, on my mat. Thinking of nothing but my breath. Nothing but right now. No worries about the past, no thoughts about the future. Mindfulness, if only for brief moments at a time.
As much as possible, I want to be content in this moment, dammit!
But now every time I pass this freakin’ sign I am propelled into the future. Shopping. Baking. Visitors. Food. Presents. Pressure. Not to mention cold. Dark. Freezing. Winter. Brrr.
Maybe I should just be happy about the spirit of Xmas. I should look forward to the day when we all sit around the table, eat a traditional meal, exchange thoughtful gifts.
But I can do that today. Why don’t I just do that today?
If I see something I want to give to someone, I can buy it and give it to them, today.
I can make cranberry relish and candied sweet potatoes, today.
I can invite someone I love to come to our house for dinner, today.
I can drink too much wine, today!
Yes! I should do that! I think I will! (the wine part)
Today can be just as good as Christmas, if I want it to be.