The holiday season is no longer near, but most definitely here! I haven’t been Scrooge or ruined any festivities with a bah humbug attitude, but this year I’ve had a hard time getting immersed in the spirit of the season. Usually I am the very opposite, wanting to be knee deep in everything Christmas, the day after Thanksgiving. I’ve jokingly called people Grinch if they aren’t as excited as Buddy the elf and me. 🙂 I have no specific reasoning and nothing negative holding me back, it’s just different for me. I still excitedly decked our house out in decorations while listening to Christmas music and enjoyed our first family Christmas of the year just as much as I always do. But I’ve yet to do any Christmas baking… or Christmas shopping. I should probably get to gifting since Christmas is only five days away. FIVE DAYS. I think this is part of my problem, how did Christmas sneak up so quickly?!
All of that being said, my attitude and spirit have changed over the weekend. Personally I feel that in the recent months there has been so much hate, negativity and uneasiness. Between a controversial spotlight on inequality, police forces, the recent election and so many more troubles, felt by all locally and nationally. I can’t help but believe that each of us in our nation have been impacted in some way. I’m not blind to the fact that each year we face many large hurdles, nor do I wish to debate my beliefs. However, I do feel confident in my feeling that so much negativity has torn a gap between relationships, communities and even our country.
This weekend I found some silver linings to appreciate. Locally, we had unexpected bad weather that rolled in Friday afternoon. Ice covered roads caused some intense turmoil in our city, and those surrounding us, due largely to the lack of preparation for these conditions. My city compares to New York City, Chicago or any other huge city in no way, yet we also aren’t tiny. Many people’s attempts to make it home, even just from one side of town to the other, resulted in hours of sitting in traffic, not moving for many hours at a time. The amount of crashes surpassed any norm our winter weather has caused in many many years. Many students were left stranded at schools when bus drivers’ stressful attempts to get them home were impossible and parents couldn’t make it to their child. Multiple schools’ faculty stayed with students until early hours of the morning, some even over night. I heard story after story of people graciously opening their homes, giving stranded citizens a warm place to stay and meals.
Though there was a lot of bad surrounding the circumstances, it made my heart happy to hear the many accounts of selflessness and compassion given and felt by so many. After reading several news reports of the weekend chaos my appreciation for service workers has grown. Trucks attempting to spread salt and clear the roads worked into the early morning hours, just to pick up where they left off hours before. Though some believe that these workers could’ve done a better job, I don’t want us to forget that the weather was two steps ahead of them from the start. This wasn’t caused by slacking workers, rather to do with the unexpectedness of the situation. When you tack on the facts that ice is much more difficult to clear and control than snow, and that using salt to clear is logically less effective when temperatures are in the single and negative digits. It goes unspoken that the work of emergency crews is a blessing and necessity. While yes, this is their job I think it is often a thankless one. Not only did they have to take countless calls that were dangerous each time, I can also imagine the stress their families felt the whole time they were taking these risks. As for the bus drivers, many parents have the biggest thanks to them for doing everything in their power to get all kids home safely.
As I spent my Monday in the infusion center, nurses talked about their scary drives home over the weekend and still risky drives to make it into the hospital at the start of the week. While many people left work and commitments early, several nurses continued to work out of dedication to their patients. My nurse said she thought about calling in Monday morning, as she has a long commute and has to travel on back roads that are obviously less of a priority to clear than the main, busy roads. Instead, she knew her patients would need her so she left her house at 4:30 am, just to make it in on time. I’ve said it before and will say it again, the dedication of nurses never fails to grow my appreciation for them more and more. My last stop in town for the day was our grocery store. All aisles were packed and register lines long, yet I heard no complaints. There were small kind gestures from many just throughout people grocery shopping. As I waited in the longest line at the pharmacy I was genuinely surprised by the patience of customers and quick, helpful, friendliness of the pharmacists.
I know this is unrelated to my typical focus and posts on my blog, and the descriptions mostly local to myself, but I couldn’t help but share. The true reason of this holiday season is so often preached, and very true. To teach that giving is greatly more important than getting is a spirit that should stay important all year, however there is nothing wrong with this being the time that generous actions are shown most. Selflessness is such a rewarding feeling to both feel and witness. So, my friends, take an opportunity to give, recognize the smallest deeds and attempt to find a silver lining in your life to be thankful for. I wish everyone a blessed, loving, and fulfilling Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or holiday season.❤️🙏🏼