I could pull drama out of most any hat I own today but today isn’t about me now is it? The only drama befitting this day is about young couple with a newborn who brought light and hope into a darkened world, act one scene one, and whose story would be told everywhere anyone would listen, believe and follow on a path to life everlasting.
So pipe down about old uncle Joe’s manners, the burnt cinnamon rolls, what you didn’t get from Santa or whatever story you’ve come up with to one up the greatest one ever told. Today is not about them, me or you except for what we all do with the awesome fact that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him will live forever. 2
Now give up the drama and go get a real life. Literally.
It’s not called a merry Christmas for nothing.
I never used to be like this.
I’d wake up anxious, ruled by ‘what ifs’ of the day ahead and what to do to defend against consequences of the yet unknown. It’s a miracle how things have changed.
For these many years since I first acquiesced to the fact I’m not in charge, my first waking thoughts are now less ‘what if?’ and a lot more ‘maybe today!’ What a hopeful difference in my morning outlook.
I’m not sure exactly when I pivoted from viewing time and unfolding experience as the enemy instead of my comrade and frankly, I don’t wonder much about it anymore since the view is so much better looking with life as a heavenly menu of possibilities versus dodging the anxious unknowns.
But at some divine moment, anxiety turned away to reveal anticipation, its friendlier counterpart. And mornings haven’t been the same since.
Looking expectantly to the day’s unexpected revelations sure beats blind strategizing against them as foreboding enemies.
There’s an untapped power in ‘maybe today’ thinking and a good morning is only what you make of it. Try plugging into the power of expectancy and today might just be yours for the taking.
Staying power is not my strong suit these days.
Nor is small talk, dancing, drinking or tuxedos. I’m in bed by 7 most nights and already a couple hours tucked two sheets in while others are still out getting their three sheets on.
Parties were once calendared in pen at least twice weekly until one day many years back when I made the brutal self-discovery that I’m not the man I used to be. And fortunately so.
I was the life of the party and also its casualty. I thrived on attention and made myself the center of it often when I wasn’t. Insecurities compensate for ego in sometimes unimaginable ways.
I tried way too hard to be liked mostly because I didn’t like myself. Wearing lampshades would send me home in the wee hours with the false sense I was a treasured friend to many when in reality I was likely just a poorly behaved nuisance, tolerated and even more likely pitied.
Then one day several years ago very early in my 12 step program, another addict shared his own similar embarrassing epiphany and his story stopped me cold, as addict’s stories often do.
I had a very long and very deep cry over my countless embarrassing recollections of parties past and finally began liking myself. Sitting on the sidelines gradually became as satisfying as all my years in centerfield had seemed to be. Private conversations with a few in attendance became genuinely more preferable than grabbing microphones and lampshades to prove some personal point to myself that I was cool.
Growing up took much longer in life than I ever expected, but like so many times before, it took an honest addict at a meeting to be the messenger I didn’t know I desperately needed.
Tonight I’m dressing up and going to a Christmas party. I may dance, I’ll probably chat with a few people and I’ll be quite comfortable in my own skin. And no one there will ever know what it took me to get to this point except that guy who saw me crying after his story at a recovery meeting years ago whose name I don’t remember but whose words I’ll never forget.