Reflections in December

Reflections in December.

Happy December Friends!

I spent a good part of yesterday putting up our Christmas tree.

I’m being a bit more “minimalist” about decorating this year.  I’ve decided not to put out all the santas or all the snowmen I’ve collected over the years.

Instead… I’m opting for a more white and silver and elegant kinda vibe.

But I did spend hours working on the tree.

I had forgotten I bought a brandie new 9 foot tall beauty last year until we brought it out of the attic, and I realized the box was completely sealed.  What a fun “surprise!”
What a lot of work “fluffing” the branches!

But, unlike past years, I didn’t care how long it took.  No rushing this year.  I put the movie White Christmas on, and I sang along with Bing and Danny and Rosemary and Vera.  And I fluffed and reflected.

I reflected on Decembers and Christmases and trees past.

I smiled remembering cutting down live trees and decorating them with handmade ornaments from my mother-in-law and vintage balls painted with my name and the year on from my childhood when we were so young we were still kids ourselves.   Money was tight but the joy was so joyous!

My eyes teared up remembering hubby lifting our little boys high up in the air so they could take their turn every other year reaching the tippy top of the tree to crown it with the star.

I laughed remembering the magic of Sammy our magical elf, who came every December 1st – long before anyone had ever heard of Elf on a Shelf (oh why didn’t I think to market it!!!).  He is the one “ornament” I put on the tree no matter the “theme” each year.  He’s been coming around for 30 years.

I felt melancholy remembering loved ones who we spent Christmases with who are no longer with us – those who have passed, but live in our hearts forever.

I remembered the emptiness of those first empty nester years.

I reminisced about the first Christmas being reunited with my Dad and the wonderful, loving extended family that came along with him.

I rejoiced in the renewed joy and magic that grandchildren have brought to Christmas.

And I celebrate life.  I am choosing to celebrate the woman I’ve become through the time and experiences I’ve been given.   I am making an effort every day to be the me I am meant to be – not comparing to others – those younger or thinner or smarter or wealthier or more talented or whatever we all compare each other about.  I am telling myself every day that I am enough.  As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  December is also my birthday month (even if it doesn’t come until the very last day of the month!).  And as a very wise friend, who faced and battled cancer years ago once told me when I said I don’t want to celebrate birthdays any more as I get older… “Celebrate!  Each day and year is a gift.    Not everyone gets this opportunity.”

May you find time to reflect on the memories, joys, sorrows, blessings and gifts of your life.  Have a beautiful December!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Woman in the Mirror

The Woman in the Mirror.

Who is she?

Sometimes she finds it hard to recognize the image
reflecting back at her.

She now has more age spots
than sun-kissed tan.

Her eyelids sag to make her look like she is squinting,
especially when she smiles big and laughs hard.

The “round” face she has always had is even fuller,
because she loves food and wine too much.

The lines around her mouth sag like the heavy parentheses
of a ventriloquist’s doll.

Her legs are truly not meant for public display,
and her boat-sized feet just don’t fit in those cute shoes anymore.

Her post-menopausal midsection
can no longer be “sucked” in.

She still tries though…

She puts on make-up
and dyes her hair.

She tries self-tanning lotions
and moisturizing hair products.

She tries to find clothes that suit her age
and full figure.

But there’s no hiding
behind the signs of 55.

She wishes she was as “fat” and “ugly”
as she thought she was when she was 15…

or 25 or 35
or even 45.

And even though that image in the mirror
is not who she feels like inside…

She actually likes herself more
than when she was 15 or 25 or 35 or 45.

She has stronger opinions,
and she is not ashamed to express her own thoughts.

She takes time for herself
and doesn’t feel bad about it.

She supports things
that are important to her.

She believes women who reveal
they have been assaulted,

because she has been
victim to that herself.

She loves her family with a fervor
she never knew possible.

And she loves herself
(something she has to work at every day).

She is a wife and mother
and grandmother.

She is a business woman
and an artist.

She is a woman living in these times,
and she is glad for that.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi