I was in the process of writing a technical article, and all of a sudden the Christmas spirit came upon me. I had to stop. My wife usually does the Christmas shopping for the family and kids. I buy for her. I've been doing a lot of shopping at Amazon. Times are changing. Usually, I don't get the bug until a couple of weeks before the holidays. On-line shopping seems to delay catching the spirit. It seems a little sterile. But when I do get the spirit, I let it roll over me, and I sit back and take another look at my life. I'm going to ramble a little, bear with me.
I'm thankful I am living, and relatively healthy. There are many folks out there that have a much harder life, because of their health. My son had a concert given at an assisted living home. I took away from the concert that I am thankful that I don't need a wheelchair. Although it made me conscious that I might, when I get older. Those people who have lost limbs, because they were involved in political conflicts, or wars, surely have a harder life than I. I am thankful for their sacrifice for the betterment of us all, and thankful that I have been blessed enough not to come in harms way myself.
I am thankful I am living, because this truly is a marvelous planet we live on that has a multitude of wonders. I marvel at the beautiful sunsets, the ocean, and the mountains. I marvel at our animals. I like watching them move and respond to their surroundings. I love their defensive natures and wonder what has caused them to be that way their genes or their childhood. I wonder about their lives. From watching my pets, and the nature channel, I am aware that they too have feelings. That they care for their family. I wonder if God has truly abandoned them at death, or if they have a heaven of their own.
Yes, we have free will, and can decide whether we believe, or not, which supposedly means for those that make that choice, their spirit will go on beyond death, but what about all of God's creatures. What a diversity of animals we have on this planet. Beautiful animals, vicious animals looking for food to stay alive. All the animals and plants on this earth live in the moment. They live in the now. We humans live in the past, present, and future, and what a mess that creates. I strive to live in the now and take one day at a time, one moment at a time. It makes life so much more pleasant. "What if" doesn't worry me any longer, or at least, I like to believe that. It's tough to maintain that Buddha nature.
Even though I strive to live in the moment, I am keenly aware that we only go through life once. You're only in 6th grade once, only 15 once, only 21 once, only 35 once, and only 65 once. Each year of my life seems like my surroundings, my reaction to those surroundings, my goals, and my desires of the moment will go on forever. It's an illusion. A dream we foist on ourselves. The man at 65 has different priorities then the boy at 21. We can't go back. I can't go back and date my dream of my high school sweetheart, when I'm 55. Our memories trick us. What we forget is our high school sweetheart is 55 now also, and probably has a family, and an entirely different life, and different desires than she had when you were slobbering all over her. Your memory pictures her at 16, not 55. You can take solace in that, hopefully, you're a memory for her too, and then lament you never did get it together.
What would our lives have been if we had married some one else? Well, you didn't, and it best to acknowledge the pleasure in your fantasy, and at the same time come back to earth, and tell your wife, or husband, you appreciate and love her. You married her, because you wanted her as your life partner, honor that, it's Christmas.
My own limitations come to mind. I was a late bloomer, it made me feel not equal through out my life. That I somehow wasn't equal to those that were blessed with their families love throughout their childhood. That I wasn't equal to the kids that went out for high school football, or for you girls, the kids that were high school cheerleaders. This is a cross that we bear from our childhood environment and upbringing. We may never be released from these crosses during our lives, until our deaths. It's a cross we carry, like baggage, through out our lives. That makes it important for me to tell my kids that I love them every day, and I do.
We believe we will be better parents than our parents, but we too find that having and raising kids is a first time experience for us all. Each of us has to figure out how to raise kids without an instruction manual. Some are better, than others. In the end, it isn't all your doing. Every kid, like every pet is different. They have different personalities and quirks. For those, who have kids that you wish were different, that they were good, instead of bad, that they didn't do drugs, or get in trouble with the law. Take a moment, and forgive yourself. Its not all your doing. You walked through life, and did your best, or not, when you were raising your kids. Yes, you want it back, you want to do it all over, but you can't. And so that's baggage you carry, I hope you can find a way to lighten your load. Forgive yourself, and then forgive your kids.
Knowing that you only go through life once, I wish you well, and hope that you find your passion. What do you like to do, what do you find yourself doing when your not working. If you truly love doing something, you should go toward it. Work in a job where you do something your passionate about. I love computers, and I am blessed that I can make a living working with computers. I've loved them since I was young. It makes coming to work, not work. I don't mind staying late at times, when I get interested in what I'm doing. You can't do that if you don't follow your passion.
Don't just work to earn a living. It will make life so much less enjoyable and harder for you. Get the degrees you need to be a full fledged member of a select group of people that have the same passion that you do, and then strive to be the best you can be at your passion. Making a living will come from that passion. Don't settle, have the life you want, not the life that was determined by chance. Care about how you spend your time on earth, you are only here once.
I wish you and your family a nice holiday of enjoying each other, enjoy the food, enjoy the spirit. Realize that we all have dysfunctional families and dysfunctional family members. Rather than condemn the wayward son, instead accept him and realize that he, or she, is also living their life, the way they want to live it. Every one of us has chosen our lives. We have made the choices that put us right where we are at this moment. Honor each others life, and allow it to be OK.
In closing, I want to thank my readers. Your coming back to the site time and time again is what keeps me writing and caring. It's my small way of giving back to others what has made my life so enjoyable. Thank you. Come back often. Enjoy your family. Enjoy the holidays.