Monday, December 18, 2006

Expectations and last minute demands


Don't you hate it when, you've just gotten back from the market, put away your groceries and then you get a call from a relative to help out with dinner and get some sides? All of this, after you went to the market? Yes, it's happened to me and I'm feeling a bit vexed.

I just feel like some people just don't know how to plan things and when they do, they throw it all at everyone else and expect things to go smoothly by "magic". So, I'm here gritting my teeth and just trying to get through each day. I know I’m stressing my self out and really all will be well when the day is done. I’m also writing this at 3 am…my nose was so stuffed but I did my nasal flushing and feel so much better! 

When I think of all my vexations, I know I have it easy. A friend of ours, just broke her leg while getting decorations put up around her house. She's going on with her Christmas festivities and this major holiday party on Christmas Eve. I say, good for her! She's plugging on with what she likes to do.

If that isn’t the most to contend with, how about our poor cousins who recently lost their house to a fire! They were told while they were in the middle of a concert and dashed off. They pretty much lost everything...a few days later they pulled a few things out that weren't too smoke damaged but all was destroyed. They still went on with their choir singing the very next day. Maybe the shock hadn't hit them, yet but they seemed to be plugging on. I wonder how flexible I would have been.

It reminds me all so much of the story of "How the Grinch stole Christmas". Not so much about the Grinch but about how we respond to bad things happening. Do we melt down, dissolve into a puddle and live like this forever? Or do we rise above the mess, take stock in our being right here and now and go on and sing?

What would I do? I think I'd probably do a little of both...In some ways, getting rid of all the old stuff we cling to, can be very liberating. I'm reminded of a short story by Tove Jansson. It was about a Fillyjonk who worried about everything and impending doom. This doom was always approaching and everything she said to anyone was always tinged with the fear of this unknown darkness. Finally, the doom thing came. A hurricane swept up, blew out all her windows, destroyed all her precious things and swished them off to the sea which she lived by. She survived this and saw all the things were gone. She found a small little porcelain cat from her vast collection, a bit beaten and with a black smug on it. This new look made her see it in a different and more endearing way. For a bit she was sorrowful but when the winds came back and she had to run to a boulder lodged in the sea for protection, she emerges a new Fillyjonk. It's as if all her old ideas of self are swept away and new thoughts are allowed to flow. She suddenly has the ability to breath without tightness, expectation and literal and figurative baggage.

How would I respond to this? Would I be able to see past all the things lost? If we can say that only things were lost and count ourselves lucky to be here and have our family here, then we are blessed regardless of the possessions we have.

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