Do you know what you want for Christmas?
Do you know what you want?
Do you know?
There is a thread on this blog called “Rule Follower”. There is a lot to write about rule following. Much of it has been heartily percolating for the last couple of weeks. This post will get tagged on the “Rule Follower” thread, but it’s also about “Divorce Recovery” and “Fruit”. Heck, it may even be relevant to “Baby Bird” and “Pacing Myself.”
I have several women who are my guiding lights and lights at the end of the tunnel. These are women who have gone through a divorce, very painful divorces, and have lives which I envy and admire. Elizabeth is one of my friends.
Elizabeth told me, one day she wrote on the back of an envelope the qualities she wanted in a mate. It was in the midst of the hardness of divorce that one day she wrote on the back of an envelope the qualities she wanted in a mate. Elizabeth says she was telling the universe what she wanted. Elizabeth believes the universe heard her request and she is in a loving, committed, life-long relationship with a man who was an answer to her envelope. Elizabeth advised me to do the same.
I’ve sat with the back of an envelope and all I could write was “someone who likes me.”
I had lunch with another friend this week. We sat for over two and a half hours as she listened to me lament and explain what had happened in the demise of my marriage. She also, had a story of hope through divorce for me. At a certain point I mentioned the envelope story. I told her, “I don’t know what I want.” After a lifetime of caring about what other people want, more than I cared about what I want….I have no idea what I want.
My friend had a knowing look in her eyes. She told me early into her divorce counseling recovery her therapist asked her what she wanted, and SHE…DID…NOT…have any idea what SHE wanted. She said she cried as she realized she had lost herself so much that she had no idea what she wanted.
This December has been remarkably peace filled and joy filled and it has been at a pace that seemed spacious. So many years, December has been the month of dread, doing for others at my own expense, buying presents for….well, no need to go down that road right now. I sat on my couch in my home looking at my Christmas tree this morning and felt so much peace and joy and love and comfort.
I realized it was because I was living life at my pace, not at anyone else’s, not in a way that felt selfish, but in a full way. I realized I have been doing things that I want, not just for someone else, not in a way that feels selfish.
I made it to church and among other things the sermon was about how we experience moments of beauty, but they fade, often quickly. Sure enough, the beauty and peace was soon to be obliterated.
After church I went straight into “juggle everybody’s wants” mode. I dropped off Benjamin at his friends, dropped off Cole at John’s home, headed to the grocery to store to get some last minute items for John, and lunch for Cole.
Cole wanted lunch from T4, the small milk tea place next to the grocery store. I was trying to figure out how to get the food to Cole as soon as possible (church ran a little late and I figured the best of circumstances would get his lunch to him at 1:00) and as hot as possible. The food he wanted, popcorn chicken and fried tofu, can take a while. I decided I’d order the food, do my grocery shopping, and return to picked up the cooked food. BUT….I needed to hurry with my shopping because I didn’t want the hot food sitting for too long.
I struggled through the grocery store. It was super packed. I saw three people I knew with whom I could have talked for 10 minutes each. I couldn’t find all of the items easily because this was not my normal grocery store. All the check out lines were 3-5 people deep.
As I am standing in line, the lady in front of me lets the man behind me go in front of her because she noticed that man only had a few items. I noticed him too. Normally I would have let him in front of me also. But, I was thinking of Cole’s food getting cold and late and I made a conscious choice to NOT invite the guy behind me to go in front of me. Well, the lady did it for me and I had to take a deep breath to remind myself that it wasn’t that important. I wasn’t so upset about the time. I was more upset that the woman at no point acknowledged that she was letting someone in front of me without asking for my collaboration. She didn’t even look me in the eye. I took a deep breath, and noticed the next man behind me was holding one item.
I saw it coming like a slow motion train wreck.
Sure enough, the lady looks at the man and asks if HE would like to go in front of her too. At this point, I spoke up. I said, while I understand the kindness of letting someone go first, I had something that I was trying to get to. And I pointed out that now she had inflicted a guilt trip on me because I was made to look like the mean lady who would not let the man with one item go first.
AND REALLY People!!! There is a “10 items or less” line. It’s not like anyone forced you into this line of people with carts of groceries. For those of us who are extreme rule followers, is there anything more frustrating then people who cannot honor the rules of standing in line!!!?????
I have so much more that I want to write. I just needed to blurt this out. Here is what I want to say:
—It’s not Cole, John, Benjamin, or anyone’s fault that I want to do things for them. Neither John nor Cole nor Benjamin would have been upset with me if I had not tried to serve them today. Their love for me is not tied to the presents I buy for them. I know this and don’t blame them. I can’t help it.
—I believe God wants me to learn from that challenge at the grocery store line. I believe God wants me to learn something about how following rules isn’t what it’s all about.
—Slowly, through the things I am going through, I am learning what I want.
I am thankful and joyful for so much these days. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you or listening and reading.
oh…..I loved running into Laurie and Ms. C at the grocery store. I’m pretty sure that God uses Bel Air on Rush River as a place to show me that I am loved and that I love.
Peace on Earth Ya’ll.