Saturday, 22 December 2012
The Joy of Acceptance
Life has been a bit hectic recently and the time thief stole my blogging time.
Now, pretty well through the vast amount of music which has dominated the last three weeks (only tomorrow, Midnight Mass and Christmas Morning to go), there is at last time to sit back and evaluate the changes in my way of life.
Don't think for one moment that I'm complaining about the huge number of new (to me) pieces of music, carols, and different forms of musical liturgy at this time of year, I am loving (almost) every minute. But it is exhausting.
The rewards are immense. So many people have expressed pleasure (and slightly less flatteringly, surprise), that the choir is sounding so good, some of them have used words like "wonderful", and "fabulous", that we are beginning to believe it!
There have been numerous, group lunches, dinners and general social get-togethers, and to my amazement, even a most unexpected invitation to lunch for me from a lovely couple who are pillars of St. Mary's.
This is such a contrast with previous Christmases that it has made me realise just how far I've come in three years.
There have been a few forays into new territory, new experiences, new ways of looking at life, and a couple of dips into depression, (one of them fairly severe), but through it all a slow realisation that sitting on the fence and watching the world go by is not for me.
The concept has its charms, but the reality is mental and physical stagnation and a decline into nothingness.
Having felt at first that my life was over and that there was no place for me, I then began to have unrealistic dreams about what might be, until finally, being welcomed into a new social circle (albeit one where the 'entrance ticket' was learning a new approach to life), has totally changed me from the wretched, lonely, self-pitying creature of three years ago.
Initially sceptical about the much-used word "joy", I have discovered that there is such happiness to be found in talking to and listening to other people, hearing about their problems and their ways of solving them.
Their dreams and aspirations even in their sixties, seventies and eighties, that I feel ashamed of my old attitudes.
Now, facing my fourth Christmas alone, I have accepted that that is how it is going to be from now on, and the rest from the hectic run-up to Christmas while enjoyable, is only one side of the coin, the other is to learn to enjoy peacefulness and a few quiet days, Not lonely, restful.
I have a warm comfortable house, more than enough food, TV, books, and if all else fails, my computer.
How good is that?
A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all who read this.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 8:26:00 am