Friday, December 10, 2010

Pre-Holiday Musings

Since this is often a stressful time of the year, I've decided to blog about the joys in my life to remind myself what's important. I'm not talking about terrific family and friends, all in good health, which are the ultimate large blessings, I'm talking about the smaller blessings that make each day special.

First is living in the country. The temperature has plummeted so for me, it's too cold for riding. But twice every day rain or shine, I walk my dogs, feed the horses, and enjoy the outdoors. The horses are shaggy and healthy with a stream that never freezes, and they have all the sweet hay they can eat and a huge four-star run in shed. Not four-star luxurious (it's in a big old barn), but four star in soft footing and plenty of room to escape the rain and snow.

Second is having two jobs that I love: teaching and writing. Neither have made me rich--I make about the same as an adjunct at a community college now as I did ten years ago, and my book advances have barely budged since I began writing. But both are satisfying in different and wonderful ways, and I am thankful every day that I continue to be passionate about careers that 'chose' me.

Third is the joy I find in volunteering. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children. I won't go into detail about my work as a CASA, instead, I'll blather on about the joy I get from giving back. Studies have shown that 68% felt that volunteering made them feel healthier. I am proof!

I could go on and on since there are so many blessing and joys in my life--too numerous to mention--and I thank you for 'listening' and hope you will be inspired to share some of yours!


Linda Benson said...

Thanks for making us think about the true meaning of this holiday, Alison. As for me, I am constantly thankful for a warm house, enough food to eat, and a loving supportive family. Not to mention all my critters, who bring me so much joy on a daily basis.

I have to say I got in the holiday spirit today when a teenage boy in the aisle of the Wal-mart store looked up at me shyly from under his stocking cap and said "Merry Christmas." I melted inside, and said "Merry Christmas" right back to him. 'Tis the season.

Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas to everyone!

HorsesAndTurbos said...

This year we are all cutting back on the "spending" and are just focusing on spending time with the family. Thanks for reaffirming this.

Too cold for riding? I just got back from a trail ride on Starlette here in Michigan...tonight there are snow storm warnings up to 12 inches or more. When I can't get in the trails with my two-wheel drive truck, I ride in my pasture bareback and practice being Stacey Westfall. Never too cold to ride LOL!

My skinny husband and I will get out the xmas hats and wear them in the stores...and it's so cute when at least one little kid a year yells "Santa Claus!)


Francesca Prescott said...

I think it's important to look for even the smallest of blessings in stressful times. This is kind of a random, off the wall comment to your post, but I've recently taken up knitting again for the first time since I was a teenager, and the rhythmic clicking and rapidly growing work (big needles, thick wool!) is both soothing and encouraging. Quite a few members of my family are getting scarves for Christmas! So I'm thankful for the great wool shop down the road!

Oh, and I'm thankful for Kwintus cantering up to greet me through a snowy field, and for finding a bag of bird seed I'd bought in the spring, enabling me to feed the birds in snowy conditions. I'm thankful for my daughter making it home from Berlin the other night after her flight was cancelled and we had to scramble to find her another flight from a different airport. I'm thankful for my funny, snoring King Charles lying beside me as I write this, and for my other dog sleeping through the night (he's had bad stomach problems recently due to a parasite).

If you stop and think about it, you can write a very long list of things to be thankful about!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Alison said...

Thank you Linda, Turbos and Francesca for your wonderful blessings! I love the teen in the stocking cap, trail rides in zero weather, and the click of knitting needles.

Happy Holidays to all!

Dreaming said...

Oh, thank you! I needed your post. I have been in a dither since I turned the calendar page to December.

Laura Crum said...

Alison--What a nice post. I won't go on about my blessings, as I pretty much did that in my Thanksgiving post, "Giving Thanks". But I will say I envy you your "big old barn". I love my property, but I had to build everything on it, so my pasture shed for the horses is pretty simple. I always look longingly at horse properies with big old barns--it just makes a place look like home. And the steam, too--I wouldn't mind a stream. It sounds lovely. And it sounds like you really enjoy and appreciate it. Happy holidays to you.

Alison said...

Dreaming-I hope your dither is calming down!
Linda--the big old barn is actually the neighbor's where the horses stay the winter. It is wonderful even when I have to strap on the snowshoes and hike through two feet to get there!