It is quiet in my house tonight. The furnace clicks away against the chill of a low desert night. Neighbor’s Christmas lights still twinkle at this late hour.
There should be snow on the ground and the violet shadows of a winter evening casting watercolor shadows…a year should not end without winter cold and ice cleansing away the cobwebs of twelve months almost past. But, alas, snow is not something we see here, and although satisfying shadows are cast from the bright moon, it is never totally the same for me as ending the year with true winter.
As 2010 winds down, I am reminded of a snippet from a poem I wrote years and years ago, “It is only at night that my demons come out, I run and I scream and I hide and I shout…but they find me.”
This year I am determined to banish the demons that seem intent on executing their ‘why’ and ‘why not’ ballet incessantly through my head, by focusing on something different. I am going to exile those relentless emotions by concentrating on what I have learned in the last twelve months, instead of trying to decipher the long list of things I am still unable to understand.
I think I finally got it through my head that it is OK to be happy when people you love are not. Each of us can choose every single day between happiness and being miserable. We can choose between joy and sorrow. Joy is a personal choice, not one that you can gift to others no matter how badly you want to or how badly you think they need it.
Sadly, I have learned that love cannot heal everything. It just can’t. When love is not enough, I have learned to just put it quietly away into my heart and save it. I can pray. I can hope. I can wish. But my love cannot and never will be strong enough to banish a loved ones demons.
People you love don’t always treat you the way you treat them. You can choose to grow bitter. You can choose to change your actions. You can choose to accept it and control how you act. Sometimes, love is not a two-way street.
There is a lot of good in the world. Sometimes I think we focus on the bad stuff, the nasty people, the horrible stories…but if we change the way we see things, there are moments when there are way more blessings then things to curse…which leads me to…
Swearing is dumb.
No matter how much you apologize or are apologized to, you can never erase ugly words said, or un-hear ugly words said to you.
We cannot teach something to someone who doesn’t want to learn. Life lessons preached to unhearing ears are meaningless blah, blah, blah.
You can only be a victim once. After that you become a volunteer.
You never, ever have to let anyone speak to you in cruelty or nastiness. You never, ever have to speak that way back to them.
A few days ago it seemed like one of the most important lessons I learned this year was eating too many Christmas cookies will shrink your jeans, but tonight that seems almost unimportant.
Perhaps it is because I am wearing my long, red flannel nightgown and I can inhale without gasping…
Or perhaps it is because it is because the hour is late...
…and the demons are gone for the moment.
I am filled with hope and possibility and promise that in the New Year I will continue to keep my heart wide open and learn the things that help me understand my life.