Thanks for checking back with my blog! The days between Christmas and New Year's always find me forgetting what day of the week it really is. I know it's been a while since I've posted so I thought I'd sit down and write some thoughts.
First of all, I hope your Christmas celebration was fun and meaningful for you. Many times the expectations of the Christmas season in general and Christmas Day in particular, are so high that we find ourselves disappointed or numb after all is said and done. Though I was neither disappointed or numb, I did find myself feeling like Christmas had come and gone without the magic and wonder that usually accompanies it. I have not been able to yet pinpoint what was missing, other than my mom. That void is huge, especially at the holidays. Nevertheless, I put forth the effort to 'create' Christmas by baking, decorating, inviting, shopping, wrapping and giving, but I was still left feeling like it was missing something.
The highlight of our Christmas was in giving. If you follow my blog you may remember me talking about a five year-old that we decided to provide Christmas for. What fun! Just a week before Christmas, after I had purchased and wrapped the gifts that we were going to give her, Jenna came to me saying that she felt like we should get this little girl a bike! She wanted to pay for it, but didn't have the money. She asked if I could buy it and she would repay me. To make a long story short, we got the bike and Jenna and my husband put it together. A pink and purple bow was the finishing touch and Jenna delivered it to their doorstep on Christmas Eve. We found out later that the girl saw Jenna running away and told her mom that Mrs. Clause had delivered it! Her mom also told us that her daughter had been asking for a bike but it was never something they could afford. It made me feel even better that Jenna had listened to that still, small voice and truly made a wish come true. How cool is that?!
As for 'Jenna's Challenge,' it kept me mindful the entire month of what I was doing or could do for others. The opportunities were everywhere… big and small chances to make a difference in some sort of way. I have learned that even with the smallest act, we never know how big the impact can be.
I thought back to a high school classmate that I saw at my thirty year class reunion. He was one of those guys that nobody recognized at first. Just like me, he had never been to a reunion. As we got reacquainted he commented that he had never forgotten me because of the difference I had made in his life. I could not recall one single thing I had ever done for this guy. We were simply friendly acquaintances. I suggested that perhaps he had me confused with somebody else. It had, after all, been a long time! He said no – that he was sure it was me. He went on to tell me that I was one of the only people throughout his years of high school that had ever smiled at him, talked to him, or was 'nice' to him. Though somewhat physically and socially awkward in high school, he had turned out to be a tall, handsome, photo-journalist for a major newspaper in L.A., while also teaching journalism at a nearby college! Despite his success, he had decided to return to his 30 year reunion to close the door on that chapter of his life that he had given way too much power to. It was time to lay aside the bitterness and resentment that he felt when he thought of how people had treated him and move on to fully live in the great life that he now enjoys with his wife and two sons. I walked away from our conversation truly believing (maybe for the first time) that a smile and kind word REALLY can make a difference!
So, as we take a look back, not just on December, but also on 2009, I encourage you to take some time to ponder your life. Sure, New Year's Resolutions, goal setting and fresh motivation abound at this time of year. Are there things though, that we can briefly revisit and now close the door to in order to more fully live and grow in 2010? I have penciled in some time in these next few days to write, create and evaluate. I'll let you know what happens.
Looking Forward to a New Year With You!