Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Joy of Acceptance

Apologies to anyone who may have noticed my absence from the blog world.
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.


  1. And a very merry Christmas to you too Ray, you inspire me so much. May 2013 be full of more Joy more Peace and more Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. And the joy of reading this and seeing how far you have come is almost as great, Ray. This is such an honest and clear-sighted post and I'm so glad that you have come through the turmoil to this new place of acceptance and renewed life. Wishing you a very peaceful and blessed Christmas and all the very best in the New Year (and wishing I could hear some of the music you have been making.....)

  3. Ray you are on a voyage that is beautful and full of peace. God bless you and all your enterprises through this period. Joy is still there for me in the birth of the Christ child as He is for you! Journey on sister!

  4. Jane, Perpetua and Jean. Thankyou as ever, for your comments and support.
    Today's Eucharist accomplished (reasonably well) now only Midnight Mass and Christmas Morning to go.
    The marathon is nearly over, then the true test of whether I can 'do' Christmas without my usual moans and groans.
    We shall see!

  5. What an "up" this post is, Ray. I love how music has woven its way into your life in such a powerful, meaningful way; of how time has brought healing & hope.

    I wish you a blessed & merry Christmas; and great joy in all the days to follow.


  6. Thanks Kathleen, and a very merry Christmas to you and yours, with best wishes for 2013.

  7. Merry Christmas Ray and hoping you have a lovely day

  8. Thanks Jane and the same to you.
    I sang at Midnight Mass last night/this morning, went to bed about 2.30 had about 3 and a half hours sleep, then back to sing at Christmas Morning Eucharist.
    Sleep next, then to a neighbour this evening.
    I'm not complaining but I wish I was 35 again!

  9. A good Christmas! Wishing you all the best for the coming year.

  10. Thanks Suem and best wishes for 2013 to you too.
    Today was dull by contrast, but this year I can cope with small step for me!

  11. I hope you had a lovely Christmas Ray, may you be blessed with a peaceful & joy filled 2012.
    You fill me with hope & I love reading your blogs.
    Love to you from all of us over here in Canada.

  12. Thanks Shona. My Christmas was very quiet (after Christmas Day), but not in any way sad, and if it ever stops raining I will go out for a while in the next few days, just to see and speak to a person or two.
    I hope your Christmas too was a happy one and I wish you every blessing for 2013.
    My very best to you all.

  13. Just starting to catch up online after a hectic time with visitors and travel. I am glad to hear you had a good Christmas, you have such a positive attitude - it is an example to others. All good wishes for the New Year and many blessings. Freda

  14. Thanks Freda. After Christmas day pretty quiet, but at least restful and because the weather was unrelentingly wet, no need for excuses to stay in.
    I attended this morning's service at ST.M's in the congregation for a change. Quite enjoyed not having to robe up.
    Happy New year to you too.