So, it’s a little late for a “New Years” message but I have been a bit distracted. We had a very busy home over the Christmas holidays as our niece, Marcie (on Darlene’s side) and Rob got married on December 30th in Calgary. I have to be honest that I have a personal stigma affected by years of going to weddings that makes me question a winter wedding but was I wrong. It was beautiful! The ceremony was at a 100 year old plus Baptist church and it was all decked out in Christmas bling…stunning. But this blog isn’t a wedding log, it’s about the undercurrent that accompanied this complex event.
I have written before how fortunate I was to have nothing but happy memories of Christmas as a child growing up in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. When I met Darlene, we celebrated our first Christmas in Regina.in 1991. We had a big family dinner and minus the drama of sharing a child with an ex, it was a memorable holiday. We were so poor. We’d both sold the farm for divorces that led to our meeting. We didn’t have any money to buy each other presents as any spare cash went to gifts for my son at his mom’s place. I actually cashed in bottles so I could buy tickets ($10 each) for Handel’s Messiah at a local church. I was embarassed until Darlene broke down in tears and confided it was the best Christmas she ever had…ever! I thought it was so romantic until I found out her truth. Darlene’s family Christmas’s were simply horrible. Without getting into detail and wth absoluluely nothing personal, they were a big family with few resources and that made Christmas a time of stress instead of celebration. They were not alone. It is truly sad that so many people rue the entire Christmas season and it actually makes me fill a bit guilty. I know that seems silly or perhaps, “predictable” but I mean it. I am also very lucky that even though I have no control over millions, I could affect a change in Christmas for Darlene and boy, did it work!
It took Darlene two weeks to decorate our home for Christmas this year and with no arrogance intended, House & Gardens magazine could have done a spread on the stunning displays. But they aren’t just “stuff”, they create a “feeling” that just screams of “how lucky are we”? We even host a Christmas party for our Calgary chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) as being speakers, we are mostly self-employed so no big office celebrations for us. We had almost sixty people and the mood was one of warmth and appreciation. Then it happened!
As the 25th of December approached, the obvious came out. A family wedding for Darlene’s side of the family that were coming to Calgary from all across North America and Christmas would be smack dab in the middle of it all! It semed like a recipe for disaster and it could have been…but it just wasn’t. From the first arrivals on the 20th till they all left on New Year’s day (following yet another party the evening before at, yes, our house) there was not one single issue! Not a single disagreement, not a single negative tear shed, not a hateful word spoken, although the card and dice games got a bit heated! As we sat in the vacuum of silence on January 1st, Darlene looked at me and said, “We’ve had a lot of memorable Christmas’s but I’ll remember this one forever”. It as a truly inspiring, if not exhausting, couple of weeks and I mention all of this for a reason.
WE ALL HAVE A CHOICE!!!!
Life can be so challenging and as we enter 2012, the doomsdayers are already slinging their negative arrows in every direction! Europe’s going to go broke! Iran’s going to start World War 3! The economy will fall apart and the Second Great Drepression will hit! Just listen to the American news channels as they froth at the mouth for the next 11 months leading up to the Novemeber elections! NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE!!!
NEGATIVE IS A CHOICE!
NOT BEING NEGATIVE IS ALSO A CHOICE!!!
This is not a motivational speaker without arms being predictable. This is a challenge to you! I challenge all of you to choose a positive approach to 2012. No matter what your excuse (I have them too!), choose a positive lens to view the world. I heard something on the news about the Mayan calender. If you don’t know, the Mayan calender ends on December 21st, 2012 (I can just imagine the doomsdayers this December). The comment that struck me was; “While some view this as the end of the world, others view it as the beginning! The beginning of a new calender and a new world!” I like that…a lot!
Make 2012 the best year you’ve ever had. Don’t fall into the pit of negativitiy but if you do, you can dig your way out. Anything is possible and this past Christmas was all the proof I need.
By the way; Thanks you Reitsma’s for making this year’s Christmas the best! I love you all!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!