Sunday, December 18, 2011

Home for the Holidays (at last)

I never quite thought I'd make it to this point: I'm home. The fact is still settling in, and ever so slowly the cares of last semester diminish as I spend time amidst the people and scenes I find so dear.

I guess I have a lot to say. I've experienced quite a range of moods, from reflective to melancholy (I love pronouncing that differently ever since I watched Megamind), to nostalgic. So let me spill the thoughts.

I surpassed my weight goal. At the start of my training sessions with my awesome trainer, Ian,I set a weight goal for what I wanted to weigh when I finished training. I started weighing 214. My goal was 195. I'm thrilled to be able to say that last week I weighed in at 193. At the end of my training, I sent Ian a text:

"Yeah seriously it's been a life-altering experience for me in a lot of ways. It's affected the way I feel, my mood, my confidence, and of course how I look. It carries over into every other aspect of my life. It's way cool to experience that change."

The next week I came into the gym, and that very text was quoted word for word on the white-board they use to promote training. I had to smile. I am their anonymous poster-child, kind of, I guess.

Another accomplishment: I decided to make my bed every day for the last two semesters. My friend Becky once told me that if you just make your bed, your whole room will look cleaner. It's true. So I tried it. I'm proud to say that I made my bed every single morning. And the success continues. It's a habit now. At the end of the day, no matter how cruddy life feels, it always seems a little brighter when you see that you have a neatly made bed to end it in.

Coming home for the holidays, I never quite know what my sleeping arrangement will be. This year, Julianne is off to serve the Lord (hiking, play volleyball...) so her room was vacant. It is now serving as a guest room for this man.
The funny thing is, this was my room all through high school. And the bed is in roughly the same spot. So much similarity in setting as my high school days, that I was instantly led to reflect on all that's transpired since I last resided in this place. That's the cause for the nostalgia.

There are certain things that I always look forward to at Christmas. If they don't happen every year, the world and life still go on, but some rituals have memories attached to them and the memories are renewed as the ritual plays out. The first is my Mother's orange rolls each Christmas morning. The smell is absolutely entrancing, the taste, enamoring. I savor that memory even now.
Another ritual is holiday carriage rides. Not too many people around have access to a carriage, let alone a good horse and horseman. Our family has all that (and more!). It's hard to put into words the feeling of a Christmas day carriage ride. In the very instant, you're given a taste of older days, a flavor of what the Currier and Ives scenes depict, a feel of timeless thrill that you can get no other way. I love this ritual and love that my dad is just the man for the job.

My younger brother asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year. It's come to this: my real gift is being with the people I love in the place I love most. That is what I want most. And every year I get that, all other gifts seem like trivialities. Not that I mind the trivial fun things, but my heart is on the true lasting joy of making memories with my family.

This year, I engaged the old man's enthusiasm for the season (his inner-child really shines through at this time of year) and got him excited about putting up some lights. Our house sure looks sad without any exterior glow.
I'll interject and confess that the lights are my favorite part of Christmas decoration. Can you imagine this holiday without the lights? Do you feel the excitement I do when you see a great light display? I love it. It makes everything that much more festive. (May your days be merry and bright)
So dad bought some lights. And I think I'll be stringing them up tomorrow.

To all my dear friends and my lovely family, Merry Christmas! I love this holiday almost as much as I love making memories with you all.

1 comment:

Cat said...

I totally agree with everything here...Memories & family traditions make Christmas so special, and the lights...I love the lights too.