The end of the year can be a trying time for me. There is the whole Christmas thing, and New Year's, and all my year-end reports, and switching everything over from one year to the next and whatnot (yes, I do have paperwork and stuff that I do)... Plus there's just the emotional aspect of it, which I realize maybe I make more out of than I need to. So I've learned a few things about helping to make it not quite so stressful.
For starters, I don't make a big deal about our Christmas Eve service. We have a "simple service" of carols, candles and communion. We basically do the same thing every year. We just sing some Christmas Carols, have someone read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20, I read the story about "The Man and the Birds", and we finish by singing "Silent Night" in a circle as we light one another's candles. So that doesn't really take much effort.
We are also doing a musical for the Sunday after Christmas this year. That will replace the sermon, and I'll just read a one or two page thing that someone else wrote about Christmas. I mean, why come up with something original when there are so many good things out there already. Then we will again sing some Christmas carols, and maybe have a shorter than usual service the day after Christmas.
As for the Annual Report that I do every year, I started working on that a month ago, and it's basically ready. I will look through my notes from the year one more time, and once I get the financial reports I will start the copying/collating process on the maybe 20-page document.
On a personal level, we don't do a great deal of shopping, and we usually try to start on that early so we don't have to feel rushed as Christmas approaches. I actually like wandering through the stores near Christmas time. It feels good to know we don't 'have' to find anything, and we can just relax and enjoy.
On an unrelated note (mostly), we went to see It's Kind of a Funny Story last night at the cheap theater. It was more just because we felt like seeing a movie in general more than we really wanted to see that movie. But it was a really good movie. I think. I mean, I'm no critic, but I liked it a lot. It's about a clinically depressed teenager who gets a new start after he checks himself into an adult psychiatric hospital. It's supposed to be a comedy/drama... and there are a lot of points for laughter, but to me this was a pretty serious movie. In fact, I'm still a little unsettled with how 'light' they took some things. I mean, it's not really a funny subject matter; and I know so many people who struggle with this stuff for real - myself included - so I was a little uncertain about how everything just seemed to "work out" at the end. However, I also know that sometimes... what can you do but laugh about stuff. All through the movie I thought of people that I wish would see this movie, but then again, I don't know if it would be good or bad. Anyway, I really related to the main character as well as Zach Galifianakis' character (Zach was great in this, btw). I have always sort of lived in that space where I felt right on the verge of 'losing it,' so there were not just a few scenes where other people were laughing but I was actually crying. But then again, I think we sometimes all feel like that, and it can do wonders just realizing that we're not alone in those feelings. So... I was glad we picked this movie to see on the night of the shortest day this year.
And as far as the cat... she is starting to warm up to us a little. She's staying out of hiding for longer periods, and she'll even jump up in our lap now and then so we can pet her. She's also starting to eat and drink more. And... she finally meowed! We've had her for a week now and this morning was the first time she made any noise. Weird.
Well, I guess it's Wednesday. Time to live.
Peace out; and in.