After late nights and long weekends, my husband, Jim, finished his paintings in time for the gallery opening. As with any date in December, the weekend was packed with arts events and it wasn't as populated as previous New Editions Holiday shows. But what do you know, one of the attendees was the art buyer for the University of Kentucky Hospital. The major renovation includes a mindset that embraces the 'art heals' philosophy; according to Herald-Leader reporter Tom Eblen, UK Hospital is a notable art museum. They continue acquiring works to showcase Kentucky's amazingly talented, diverse artists, the most recent being nine of Jim's 18x18 mixed media pieces! What an honor!
Take a moment to enjoy his work while I digress...
I am not the only one who feels unprepared, behind schedule, frazzled and, well, tired. I know I'm not. But even after years of experience, I'm off the grid, out of the loop, in an oddly egg-shaped orbit that has taken me far from recognizable turf. I've seen very little of friends and festivities and lots of, well, preparation.
I do have two teenagers with busy schedules and a chronic illness that eats my time, and then there was the day after Thanksgiving incident involving abscesses, oral surgery... a painful ten days spent watching movies instead of being productive, blah, blah, blah. My new dentist, as she was finishing up my root canal last week, said she had a few patients who were completely prepared for the holidays and just enjoying the season. We had a simultaneous urge to barf. I mean, really??
The rest of us, a whopping majority I feel certain, all have unique and myriad reasons why we're never caught up with that sit-back-and relax kind of satisfaction. Think about it... if nearly everyone of us - are you with me? - is caught up in the fray, what does that say about our expectations? Are our days really supposed to be Chinese fire drill rehearsals? In spite of the countless reminders, self-help articles, sermons and vows about focusing on the true meaning aside, I wonder if I'll ever be willing to shift my perspective.
It's a matter of programming driven by the expectation trap. Life, as John Lennon said so aptly, is what happens when you're making other plans. Like my planned commitment to make 12 December calendars for the swap group I've been involved with for a few years now. Nope. The gifts I'd envisioned creating. Nope again. Between our own issues and the unplanned, it's all too easy to give up. Instead, perhaps there's something to be said for giving in.
Just when I think I've had the most comprehensive lesson in surrender, I'm tested anew. But the positive side is an acquired taste for acceptance, an appreciation of the days after the pain, the breather moments between pressure points. Along with a full realization of the incredible blessings that overshadow any trifling complaints.
The only work I've done in the studio since September has been to help Jim by prepping (previously posted) backgrounds, but what a reward. I may not be sending out Christmas cards but who says New Year's Greetings won't be appreciated? Yes, it took three days to get lights on the tree and I have yet to bake a cookie.
I haven't visited ANY of my favorite blogs either, hence the off-the-grid sensation. Less than a week before Christmas, twelve days until we greet a new year, and I decided to watch football with the boys and now, drink coffee and write a blog post and allow myself mindful meditation to focus on the good that really does outdo the petty negatives.
So, just when I've mastered the art of the excuse, I find I don't need it after all.
Happy day, blessed holidays, greetings and love to all!