Friday, December 5, 2014

338/365-2 Christmas Past

"Dancing Memories"

For good or for ill, I am not really a saver of stuff.  I have a very few tangible things that are precious to me and that I have saved over time; but for the most part, things are not my thing.  

I don't have a collection of Christmas ornaments that have been passed down and collected over the generations.  Growing up in a military family ornaments got lost and broken along the many moves.  When the girls were little, I tried collecting ornaments memorializing monumental events, but I fell short, probably because my heart and soul really weren't into it.  Also, I hate spending the entire Christmas holiday wondering if me or the cat is going to be the one to drop or knock off and break some treasured family heirloom.  My breakable family heirlooms.

Our tree is decorated (well, not yet) with cheap, but pretty, plastic balls bought on an after Christmas sale.  The balls sparkle and glow and add cheer to our den.  Every year, many of them make their way to the floor as the cat greatly enjoys balls that sparkle and glow.  And every time they hit the floor, I continue to breath and am not overcome by anger or guilt.  

All this is not to say that I don't have many good and vivid memories of Christmases past.  I do.  But they exist in my mind and in the stories shared when family and friends who gather during the holiday season to remember Christmases past and savor the Christmas of today.

337/365-2 Construction

"Construct A Scrapbook!"

I have a student who is also a colleague teaching in another department as well as a friend.  As we were wrapping up the last week of classes this week before next week's final exams, the level of stress among faculty and students alike was rising.  Everyone was trying to find something, anything to bring down both their anxiety levels and blood pressure.  My student/colleague/friend decided that taking up scrapbooking is what I needed to take my mind off the pressures of school.  Really???

The thing is, I love all things paper, and stickers, and pens...For that very reason, I have resisted the temptation to follow the scrapbooking craze for all of these years.  I know it would just be one more thing for me to become totally absorbed.  Today I was given a big stack of scrapbooking pages, tons of stickers, some embellishments, binders, and a trimmer.  Every bit of it my student/colleague/friend chose knowing me and my interests very well...maybe too well.  The themes range from family to coffee, from labrador retrievers to menopause, from music to photography and beyond.  When I got home this evening, I started just looking at all of the papers.  I kept thinking, "I know what I can do with that one...and that one...and that one..."  I found myself planning out my days over the coming winter break.

Do I have a clean house?  No.  Do I have any Christmas decorations up?  No.  Have I done my Christmas shopping?  No.  Am I caught up on the photography classes that I am taking?  No.  Do I have any business taking on something else in the midst of all these things that aren't done?  No.  But...but, but I want to!!!

Perhaps that will be enough incentive to get all of these other things done in a timely manner.

I am blessed to be surrounded by so many people who care about me, and I am grateful for this awesome gift of today!