The Day After Christmas Reflection

red wagonThe wrapping paper has been picked up and put into a large green yard bag – there are a few ribbon and paper stragglers that will be discovered today, I’m sure, but for the most part the wrappings are gone. Some of the unwrapped gifts are still under the tree waiting to be claimed and put away by the recipient. Most of  the dishes are either in the dishwasher or waiting for their turn. The residents of this house are sleeping in – except for me – and I slept later than usual.

It was a good day for us. The arrival of Jack was the official start of our Christmas day. He got here a little after 10 a.m. and the gift ritual began. We went outside first because there was a “Radio Flyer,” aka “a little red wagon,” in the storage shed. The paper came off quickly and he said in an awed whisper, “Oh, it’s a wagon.” He sat in it, pulled it, put stuff in in and pulled it some more and then came in the house to begin the gift exchange for us all. He loves anything with wheels on it and received a huge yellow Tonka truck, much to his four year old delight. My best friend gave him an “Excavator” which has tracks like a tank, picks up rocks with a claw, and makes all kinds of construction sounds in the process. It was a huge hit and he played with it until he fell asleep on the floor beside it.

We didn’t have an extravagant Christmas this year and gifts were thought out carefully. Every gift was “on target” except for a few jokes that are mandatory in our family – like a reindeer that poops out jelly beans when you push down on him. It felt more like a celebration of us as individuals and as a conglomerate we call family. Some friends joined us – dear friends who are comfortable with our quirkiness.

Dinner, cooked by my gourmet cooking son, was wonderful and we ate far beyond the stopping point.  From the first bite of ham to the last dollop of ice cream on the apple pie, it was wonderful.

And when the noise was over and I was alone in my wingback chair reflecting on the day, I was overwhelmed by how blessed I am.

  1. I have sons and grandsons who are fun and funny that I love with all my heart and they love me back.
  2. I have friends that are so comfortable to be with that anything can be discussed or as we say jokingly “cussed and dis-cussed” and we can laugh at old jokes over and over and enjoy them just as much or more than we did originally. These are friends I can count on in any emergency and they know they can count on me. They are my family that I got to choose and continue to choose because they are so special to me.
  3. I have the freedom to celebrate a holiday any way I want to because I am free to believe the way my head and heart lead me and not how someone tells me I must believe.
  4. I am working for self improvement and again I have the right to choose to do that the way I think will help me the most. And there are wonderful resources that I am most grateful for.
  5. I can write anything here. I know some people will be helped by what I write and some won’t. Some will return and some won’t. But we all have freedom of speech and good minds to sort the meaningful from the meaningless. I am so very grateful for that.
  6. And there is so much more.

Next week we start a new year – 2008 – Wow! How quickly 2007 passed. So this is a week to reflect – on how far you’ve come and where you want to go on this self improvement journey in the new year.

Start by doing an inventory of all the blessings of 2007. Look deep. What are you MOST grateful for? Write it down and return to it frequently. Begin 2008 in gratitude and looking forward to what it has in store for you. We’ll talk more about this as the week goes on so come back again. See ya later.

Irene Conlan

Irene Conlan has a master's degree in nursing, She taught nursing at Arizona State University, served as Director of Nursing Administration at St. Luke's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and served as Assistant Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services for the Division of Health Care Facilities and Emergency Medical Services. Now retired, she is an avid blogger and manages http://www.theselfimprovementblog.com,http://www.theselfesteemblog.com and hosts the Self Improvement Radio Show on VoiceAmerica. Irene lives in Fountain Hills, AZ and has two sons and four grandsons. 

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