Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Getting merry!

I find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit. This is always such a busy time of year and I am always running on empty, just hanging on for the lazy days of January. I feel like it should still be August because the last few months have been such a blur. When I worked in retail, the Christmas carol CD which played would get me into the mood in November and I would be totally over it by Christmas Day. Also, as I get older the childhood delight about Christmas is very much on the wane and I look forward to a bit of a sleep in, rather than getting up at 5am to see what Santa brought.

But there are a few things which still make it exciting. My husband and I do stockings for each other and it is lovely to not know what I am getting in it. Even if it is deodorant and a chocolate santa. (He does get me lovely things, that is just a rather banal example of the contents).

This year I am going to hear my parents sing in a performance of The Messiah, so I am hoping that will help get me all excited. I also think I need to read the story again and get into the reality of why we celebrate it.

Christmas shopping has the opposite effect. It strips Christmas of its joy, especially in the madness of the obligatory Westfield mall. It is stressful and busy and the list of presents to buy gets in the way of getting things which really mean something. I love the idea of making things but this is the time of the year where my creative juices (and there aren't many at the best of times) are sorely lacking.

So the answer? Maybe celebrate Christmas about the 15th of January. The weather is better, everyone is relaxed and there has been time and space to think about the reason for the season.

Or just try to celebrate all year round. I am so glad Jesus was born. It is a comfort to know he understands the pain and joy of being human and the sense of things not being quite right as we await Jesus' return. He knows about busyness and managed to keep the right things a priority. I hope in this silliest of seasons I can also do that, even for only a moment or two, and not let this Christmas slide by, lost in the rush of life.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Know yourself

I am a total sucker for personality tests and excercises which help me understand myself better. The following are two tests I like.

www.8tribes.co.nz - this one is from a book written by a kiwi woman who has broken down the New Zealand population into 8 classes. According to the test I am a cross between Balclutha and Grey Lynn. I found it really helpful. I now know why I want to be a greeny but think green products are a bit of a rip off. Or why I think it is important to consider social justice and the impact of decisions on people but describing yourself as left wing as if that is the only 'right' way to think is foolish and ignorant. Or why I get really frustrated that at the end of a deep and thoughtful discussion no-one does anything practical with it!

Have a look and find out which tribe you are part of!

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp - this one is based on the Myers Briggs personality profiles. I have done this a few times and I am a strong ENFJ. I find it really useful to read about my personality because it explains why sometimes I feel like two different people inhabiting one body. This version gives quite a lot of information.

Hope you like your type!

Heck, it is nearly Christmas!

I cannot believe that 2007 is nearly over. I am finishing up at my current job and moving on to a new school. I am excited about the move but feel really sad that things haven't worked out the way I planned here, for me personally really. I had planned 2007 and what it would mean for me and I find myself at the end of the year feeling like nothing happened. Well a lot has happened but not much that was wanted.

I have found the last week or so difficult. It seems there are more and more situations which bring reality home to me - visiting the dentist, optometrist and osteopath (who all knew I was pregnant) and having to explain what has happened. Having to plan to be working next year, though I really do like being a teacher, it just wasn't supposed to be what 2008 was for me.

I try very hard to be content, to accept what has happened, take the good, like I know I can get pregnant, and not focus on the bad, like every woman around me is pregnant! It is pretty hard work and frankly, very exhausting.

But I am determined not to sink into darkness, to still celebrate the good and not to bleed my life dry of hope. Grief is a vortex and it could pull everything in my life into its blackhole, but I can't let it.

Today I saw a friends baby laughing and giggling and I was reminded that in all my mental turmoil, that is what it is about. New life and so much potential, joy in the little things, just joy in being alive, on the earth which has so much to offer. Funny that something which should make me sad, helps keep things in perspective.