It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the stressful hustle and bustle of the holiday season. I myself am guilty of fretting over things that in the grand scheme of things are insignificant. This week I have had a number of reminders to slow down, stop stressing, and enjoy the magic and merriment of the season. Lucky you, I am going to share.
I have been feeling quite scattered-brained this week and I have not been able to muster the concentration needed for The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. Shocking, I know. But, the bright side of this is that I found inspiration in two small books.
First I enjoyed A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books.
I know I have talked about Little House a lot lately, but they really are just so good. This collection of Christmas stories helped put me in a holiday mood and reminded me of the things that are truly important-good health, close family, and good friends. Laura Ingalls lived in a time when a new tin cup and few pieces of candy were a Christmas windfall. Can you imagine? Life was hard and dangerous and they found comfort and joy in family and friends not material belongings. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for all the modern conveniences I enjoy, but it does make me think.
The other source of inspiration this week comes from the book 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik
In 2007 Kralik, an attorney, found his life to be at a depressing low. His law firm was in jeopardy, his relationships were in shambles, his apartment was tiny and depressing, he has unhealthy and miserable as he helplessly watched his dreams slip away. That is, until he found inspiration on a New Year’s Day walk in the hills of L.A. He decided to start focusing on what he had instead of dwelling on what he didn’t. Inspired by a thank you note from his ex-girlfriend, Kralik embarked on his mission to send 365 thank you notes to people who touched his life.
I am only half-way through the book, but I am finding it inspiring and thought-provoking. It is making me more aware of all the things that I have to be thankful for in my life. In fact, I am thankful to Stacey for recommending this book to me.
Another reminder to slow down and enjoy the season came last night. After watching my nephew’s Christmas concert I drove my 90-year old grandmother home. As we approached downtown she remarked that she hadn’t seen Public Square lit up for Christmas in years. How fortunate that we had not passed the exit yet! It was late, I was a little cranky and I knew I had to be up early the next morning, but that 10 minute detour really meant a lot to a woman who doesn’t ask for much in life. And do you know what? It was beautiful!
Grandma is on the left, her 92 year-old sister is in the middle, and the 87-year old “baby sister” is at the end. Me and my sisters are on the opposite side of the table. We are sitting across of our “older” selves (I am the oldest of my generation, in the middle, across from the oldest of her generation). I am so thankful to have these awesome women in my life.
Finally, this morning I saw a house collapse on its neighbor. The new second story of the house literally collapsed to one side. I was reminded that things can always be worse. My basement may be a damp, moldy mess, but at least my neighbor’s roof is not leaning against the side of my house. Life is good.
I hope you can take a quick, quiet moment and find something to be thankful for today. It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel.
Do you have a book that inspires you? I am in the mood to be inspired, so please pass the recommendation on to me. Thank!