“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
The new year, following holiday festivities that sometimes seem to never end and have angst and stress for some, always brings about a time of reflection for me. While later in my life I seem to do this regularly, not needing the new year milestone celebration, I’m mindful of the things going on in my life, my friends, and my family.
As I just finished a phone call with my dear friend Paula from Kentucky, who I’ve written about before, and who I visit every December, save the year Dave was in treatment, I was thoughtful about what a gift she is in my life. We don’t talk all that often, our history is not direct, but came from the friendship between her parents and mine and then hers with my mother. My mother connected us up the year before she died by a “fluke” of circumstances, and we have become sisters of the heart ever since.
This of course prompted me to write a post about the gifts in our lives. The little things that are sometimes huge and yet have no quantifiable value except to those of us it impacts. You know what I mean. The neighbor, the teacher, your childhood friend, parents, grandparents, lover, children, pets, etc. These people that we experience through the course of our lives who have made it better in one way or another. Sometimes unappreciated for what they are at the time, it seems as we age, or have obstacles to overcome, we can suddenly reflect on just how important those folks were at that time, and again now as we look back.
Paula and I like to share postulates for each other to do well and flourish. We like to share personal stories or those of others in this regard. She was sharing with me a friend whose wedding she will be participating in this weekend. Ten years ago when the groom and bride-to-be were engaged to others, the groom was walking by this beautiful old house in Louisville after a snowfall. The house was decorated for the Christmas holiday with a gorgeous array of lights. On the top was a lighted sign that said, “May all your wishes come true.” He had taken a photo of it. As it turns out, he and his wife-to-be have purchased this same house to begin their lives together. He was sorting through photos and it was one of those magical moments of realization that they are getting married and moving into the very house that had struck him as particularly beautiful on that snowy day. Paula suggested they get a lighted sign that says, “Wishes do indeed come true!”
Kind of like “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jack Canfield. Look around your life and have some pleasure moments recalling those big and small moments and people who have crossed your path and made it joyful. Sometimes its all we have to get us through the day. For those of us who have lost our loves ones, sharing those happy moments when you were together, with your children and grandchildren can get you through the loneliness without them in your life. As someone who lost her father early in life, I can tell you that when you share this stuff, it means a lot to those of us listening.
Happy New Year to all and let’s postulate some serious forward movement on this thing called Multiple Myeloma!
Over the years I have always been hesitant to remove people from my life. It has gotten easier for me through this experience with Dave. I just couldn’t have it in his life and not mine either. I don’t make a big to do over it, I just soul search, give my self the time to do it thoroughly, and then make my decision to distance myself from people who are overly negative and perpetually have a lot of self created drama in their lives. I don’t watch reality shows that have all this nonsense in it either! People who think this is normal living. Do you know what I mean? When it’s a family member it is much harder, but possible.
I don’t try to change them, I just accept it for what it is and I don’t have to play. I try to always be gracious and kind, but I no longer allow myself to get sucked into the vortex, whorled around and spit out. Which is what used to happen when I tried to help solve it all for them. I choose instead to focus on those who contribute to the richness of my life and hopefully I do theirs as well. The Yin and Yang of friendship and affection. That is very simply the things that matter to me and what I like to spend my energy moving toward with enjoyment and appreciation.