Something Good- Day 360-365

I went to my brother’s house for Christmas day. We arrived later than I had planned because I wanted to clean the house before we left, but we ate dinner and then opened gifts with them.

I spent the next few days at my brother’s house. I was able to hold the baby for a while and spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews. Saturday, we took the kids out to lunch at a pizza buffet. We watched Soul and then went to a light show about 30 minutes from their house. It was a bit of a drive, but definitely worth it.

We had a birthday party on Sunday for my oldest nephew. We had lunch and cake. Then, he opened his presents. We left afterwards to come back home.

Monday was a pretty good day at work. My boss finally came back after being out sick for three months. We were all excited to see her because it has been so long. The day went smoothly, and I was even able to donate plasma during my lunch.

Yesterday we had homemade barbeque meatball subs for dinner. I signed up for a bank account to get a special cash back offer, which I was really excited about. Then, we watched a movie and relaxed.

Today we went to the store to check out holiday clearance items. We bought a few gifts to save for next year and some candy and other things. I am looking forward to taking some time off work over the next couple weeks and spending time with friends in the new year.

Something Good- Day 355-359

We did a Christmas lights scavenger hunt on Sunday night. We drove around and looked for different lights and watched a couple light shows.

Monday we dropped off some food to someone in need. Afterwards, we came home and played games.

Tuesday we went out to dinner with a friend. Then, we went to the theater to watch a movie. It was good to spend time with her since she has been busy with school. The movie was fun, and the theater only had 10 people in it.

Wednesday we spent time with our teenage friend. We had dinner and then went to the store to buy my coworkers gifts.

I had to work this morning, but I felt better about going to work than I did yesterday. I gave my coworkers their gifts, and they shared a lot of food and treats with me. After work, I was able to go to my friend’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. We talked, played games, and spent time with her family. It was good to spend at least some of the holiday with her.

Something Good- Day 345-349

Thursday night we watched a Christmas light show in our neighborhood. We did a video call with my mom and nieces, so they could watch the show as well.

I went to a coworker’s house on Friday night. We ate and talked and then wrapped presents. It was a nice break after a very hectic day at work.

Saturday we went out for frozen yogurt with a friend. Afterwards, we went to her place to play with her dog. Then, we took her to the light show that we had watched on Thursday.

Sunday we did home church and went to visit our cat that is being homed at our friend’s house for the time being. We also watched the movie, “The Christmas Shoes,” which is one of my sister’s favorite holiday movies.

Today was a good day at work. I actually got out on time, which has not happened since we made recent policy adjustments. After having dinner and doing some dishes, we watched “Elf” while eating treats.

I have not been posting these lately because we have been trying to see as many lights and Christmas movies as possible, which often means getting to bed later than I planned. I have been enjoying this time though and look forward to continuing to celebrate the holidays.

Something Good- Day 327

This is not a normal year. I think we are all craving light and happiness and joy a little more this year. So, even though I absolutely love Thanksgiving and feel that it is extremely important to express gratitude at this time, I am all for Christmas lights this year. Today we went to a friend’s house to drop off some puzzles for them. They unexpectedly invited us to eat dinner with their family. Afterwards, we drove around looking at Christmas lights and then watched Polar Express to end the night.

Something Good- Day 314-315

Yesterday we decided to decorate for Christmas. Although I am usually adamant about making sure Thanksgiving comes first, I knew it would make my sister happy. I think that given the year we have had, Thanksgiving can share with Christmas this year.

Today was our first real snow here. The roads were slippery, and most people chose not to go out if they could avoid it. The bank was fairly slow, which meant we got out right on time. We ate homemade dinner and then sat down to watch a show.

Something Good- Day 294

I have been delaying writing this tonight. There has been a lot on my mind with Covid controversies, work issues, and personal issues. We also had a frustrating experience with dinner tonight. But… We did get some Christmas presents ready tonight. We are trying to be very practical in our gifts this year while still keeping an element of fun. We also were able to find some gifts for my nephew, who is turning two years old next month. I find it difficult to buy gifts for that age, but we found some great stuff that I think both he and his parents would like.

Feeling Different

Every once in a while things really get to me. I feel different, flawed, unlovable. I am usually not sure what starts it, but it is hard to pull myself out of that mindset.

I was spending time with my best friend last night and kept breaking down because I felt alienated from the world. I feel like I don’t fit in and don’t belong. I love being with my friend though. She is one of the few people that helps me feel whole and always makes me feel like I belong in some way. I am so grateful for that. My friend continually assures me that she enjoys being friends with me and loves the things that make me different.

But it is hard to feel like I belong when I have never met anyone like me. I know that no two people are alike, but I mean more that my personality seems like a stark contrast to those around me. It probably doesn’t make sense, but one of the things I struggle with the most is feeling like I love people too much. I constantly think of others. I see them in everything. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures, almost everything reminds me of a memory with someone. I buy presents and other things for people all year long because I see things that remind me of them or that I feel they would enjoy.

Maybe that is what brought on these thoughts. With the holiday season, I questioned my sanity. Was it wise to travel long distances to see others for a short time? Was I ridiculous for having too many gifts for family and friends? Did I do more than a reasonable person would do in similar circumstances?

I normally love Christmas. It is one of the few times a year that I feel like I fit in. People do more of the things I tend to do on a regular basis. But this year, Christmas felt like a lie. People are not giving and loving and helpful all year round. Drivers are selfish. Most people do not constantly think of others at the grocery store or during other daily routines. How can we sing these songs of keeping Christmas in our hearts when most people don’t?

I regularly do things for others that most people would not do. I have travelled all day to be with a friend for a few minutes. I have gone above and beyond to help a friend in need. I have sacrificed my own comforts to help someone else feel better. And the thing is, I know all of these things are good, but I feel so flawed for doing them.

This has made me feel like I do not belong in this world. I feel misunderstood. I feel like the world swirls around me while I crave to be connected to it. Is there a place for me? Is there somewhere I can belong? Is there someone who will see me as all that I am and love me anyway?

I want to believe that I am needed here, that I have a place in this world. I want to feel like I belong, even though this world doesn’t feel like home. Was I put here for a reason? Is there a reason I don’t feel like anyone else understands? Do my differences benefit others in positive ways? And most of all, can I ever belong in a world where I was born to stand out?

Santa

I don’t really like Santa. I mean, I have nothing against the guy. Anyone who spreads hope and joy and love is definitely someone to be admired. I just don’t personally care for the big guy. I do not remember writing letters to him while growing up or wanting to sit in his lap. I am also not very good at coming up with things I want as gifts, so Santa seems rather pointless when you don’t really want anything.

Anyway, we had a party last night at my church. There was good food and gifts and Santa. The party was for young single adults, so it was pretty cool to have Santa there because people could feel like children again by sitting on his lap. But I had no desire to go see Santa. And it wasn’t that I don’t really like pictures, I just feel no connection to him. And maybe it is because I never really did things most children do. I never liked patty cake, and I had no desire to participate in tetherball or hopscotch or so many other games that my fellow students enjoyed.

I guess I’m just posting this because I wonder if anyone else feels the same way. It’s not that I grew out of Santa, I guess I just never grew into him. Is that an autism (Asperger’s) thing or just a personality thing? I mean, I love Christmas and Christmastime and giving and nativities and so many other things that have to do with Christmas. I just don’t really care for the Santa part of Christmas. And I know I can probably be described as “a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone” like Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, but I try to harbor good feelings at Christmastime and give what I can. Do I have to like Santa to not be a Scrooge?

Celebrating Christ’s Birth

It is no secret that I am not fond of birthdays. There are years that I would like to avoid my birthday altogether. However, as we talked today in church about Christ’s birthday. I thought about what Christmas represents.

Christmas is a day to remember Christ. So, how would he want us to remember Him? By giving of ourselves- giving to others, helping others, loving others. That is how Christ spent His life. In truth, the birth of Jesus was a gift from both Christ and the Father. Jesus gave us the gift of His life- of becoming mortal so that He could save us, serve us, and show us how to live like Him. And the Father gave us the gift of His Son.

I think that the Spirit of Christmas is the perfect way to celebrate Christ’s birthday because we strive to do exactly what He did in His mortal life- give, love, serve. I hope my birthday can help people remember those things, too. But I am grateful for the perfect example to celebrate with “peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

Believe

One of my favorite animated movies (if not my absolute favorite) is “Rise of the Guardians”. There are so many reasons why I love this movie, but one of the things I love most about it is that it revolves around the idea that we choose to believe. The things in the world influence our ability to believe, but in the end, only we can conquer our own nightmares by choosing to face them and bring them to light.

I look at the stars in the sky, snowflakes that freeze on the window, and the hundreds of tiny little veins in a single leaf, and I just think to myself, “how can anyone not believe?” There is so much hope here, so much light. There is so much good in the world.

As someone who hardly knows what it’s like to not have depression, I have seen my share of darkness. Most of my life has been spent trying to find the light in the darkness. But because of that, I see light everywhere. I see light in the darkest corners of people who’s lives have been torn apart by addictions or mental illness. I see light in desperate situations where some will say, “what good could come of this?” And most importantly, I see light in myself. Even when I am in the depths of depression and death seems like the only escape and I ache for any bit of hope to hold onto, I find light in my faith that things will get better, that someone cares, that I am not alone.

People say that light and dark cannot exist in the same space. They are right to an extent. Light cannot inhabit the same molecules as the dark. But there is no room, no area, no place that I know of that has absolutely no darkness. Likewise, it is extremely difficult to create complete darkness. Light and dark seek to inhabit the same space, but darkness wins when light reaches its limit. Darkness is the absence of light because it exists when light is not there. 

Inside of us, darkness exists when we don’t choose to make light. I have always marvelled at how people can be so cruel. I don’t understand how people can hurt each other or become numb to the pain of another person. I guess it makes sense though that if you don’t choose to put light in yourself, the darkness will reside there instead. But I can’t help but see light in even the darkest of people. There has to be some good there, if they would just choose to turn towards it.

At Christmas time it is easy to dismiss the beliefs of children in Santa Claus or even in miracles, but it is that choice to believe that is so powerful. I want to believe in Santa. I want to believe in goodness. I want to believe that there is something better out there. I watch movies like “The Polar Express” and “The Santa Clause” and they make me want to believe in the impossible. I have seen the impossible over the last few years. I have experienced what I never even dreamed could happen.

So I guess my point with all of this is just to encourage you to believe. Believe in hope, in light, in goodness. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Believe that you are not alone in this world.

“All things are possible to those who believe.”

-adapted from Mark 9:23