It’s officially Friday (the 13th for you superstitious ones) y’all! 🙌
This week was hospital week and I just so happen to work in a little rural hospital. Even though I work in the office part, I still got to be a part of the daily shenanigans.
We have two lovely souls that run our HR department and each day this week they had a sweet little something for the entire hospital. The theme for the week was travel. Each day we traveled to a different country. It was sure a fun week of daily games, food, drinks, and fun. We also played a week long bingo game. Fortunately, I did get a bingo on Thursday and was gifted a $25 gift card to Best Buy. I was so stoked that I actually won something. 😂 Now to figure out what to buy with it 🤔
For todays finale they had breakfast for us all and a special “surprise” if we wore our badge while getting our plate. I was very happily surprised when they were handing each one of us a gift certificate for gasoline! Y’all that is so HUGE for us employees and our tiny little hospital.
I just wanted to give a shout out to my hospital family, especially our HR department, for always showing us such appreciation. It’s the little things that keep us motivated to work hard, even through those frustrating days. Our CEO is so good to us all, from the bottom all the way up, and he is always showing us his appreciation.
When my two kids were home, I looked forward to decorating, inside and out, each and every holiday season. October 1st began the decorating season in our household. I loved putting the “blow ups” in the yard and changing the inside just enough to show each holiday off as a family to enjoy together.
When the day after Thanksgiving came around it was time to begin decorating our Christmas tree. Their dad and I always put the tree up together and we’d get it wrapped with its garland until our kids were old enough to help. Then I’d sit in the floor and carefully pull out each ornament to make sure each one had a hook or ribbon to be hung with. As I would hand them off to each child and their dad for them to hang on the tree, I had the pleasure of sitting and enjoying my view of them from the floor. That’s a treasured memory in my mind each and every Christmas season now that both kids are grown, married, and have a child of their own. I sometimes wonder if they, once their children are old enough, will carry on any of the traditions that we had created together when they were growing up at home.
As an empty nester now, each year I see so many different themes of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and I think to myself “maybe this year I’ll do something different with mine” but I can’t bring myself to do it. Once the decorations for each holiday has been gotten out of storage, there go all of my memories, and I decide to keep my tree decorated exactly how it’s been decorated each year previously only to add one or two ornaments for that particular year.
Such lonesome frustration comes up during the process and begins to create a feeling of dread and why bother when no one is here to enjoy it with these days.
My thoughts and feelings are so different than they used to be. Now I have wishes and/or prayers that my husband, kids, and grand kids could be home especially this time of year to enjoy the process with, that I almost decide to not even decorate at all. As if the part of digging all of the decorations out of the garage isn’t painful enough, there’s the putting the tree together and making sure it’s all connected correctly. Then plugging it in to see the beauty of the lights come to life, thankfully my tree has the lights already on it, only to begin separating the branches as to fill in the “big” holes. Now begins the true headache of separating each ornament and finding the hook that I purposely left on it while disassembling the previous year.
While separating each ornament is not my favorite thing to do, each year I am reminded of so many memories that come back to life in my mind all over again; memories that are not a part of my day to day living anymore. While carefully hanging each ornament on just the right branch to be sure it hangs properly, it’s placement on each branch is very important to me. The ornament has to be hung in such a way to display the correct side of the ornament and not spin around to face the inside of the tree. While the tree topper is not the same each year, it has to be placed in just the right way to be seen when looking directly on the “front side”. Once the decorating is complete with the mess is all cleaned up, only then do I get to enjoy the full beauty of it all as a whole.
I love sitting, as close as my furniture placement allows, beside my beautifully decorated Christmas tree and embracing each and every memory that’s been made over the years. My all time favorite ornaments are the ones that are homemade by each child of mine. I look forward to those that I pray to receive from each grand child to be added some day. Each and every ornament placed on my tree brings back a different memory to the frontal lobes of my mind that’s been filed away with the packing it all up the year before.
So while the dread of putting all the decorations out without my family together isn’t always enjoyable for me, once it’s completed, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting beside my very own tree in complete silence with only the lights blinking in the darkness of the room and looking at each individual ornament only to revisit its purpose and meaning for being hung on that branch. There is no other theme that I can visualize for my Christmas tree of memories.
So tell me, what does your Christmas tree mean to you?
As I prepared to join my (forever) church home online this morning, I wasn’t even thinking about my “happiest place on earth” and where that might be. Were you?
As, my “preacher man”, the Pastor of LBC, Chad Hopkins, began his sermon, he asked everyone one simple question. ‘When you think of happiness, where is your “happiest place on earth”?’ Most of us think of Disney Land or Disney World right? I mean that is their slogan. For Chad, it’s in the mountains of Colorado with his family. For my husband, it’s the solitude of being in a deer blind, just him and nature. We all have our one place that makes us feel closer to happiness than any other place in the world.
Since I’m not one for cold places for very long at a time these days, because it hurts my body so bad, I do enjoy traveling and visiting lots of different places in the world. However, my absolute “happy place” is just being at home. I enjoy being home with my husband, when he’s able to be here with us, and our animals more than any other place on earth.
As so many during this pandemic have been posting about how miserable they are by being “stuck at home” following CDC guidelines, I have truly enjoyed the majority of it. Of course, there’s days when I want to get out and about and be with people, so I do, but over all I have not hated being able to work from home; not having to even put clothes on if I don’t want to. I enjoy staying in my pj’s and being able to stay comfortable all day long. I love being able to lounge around with my animals and not have to put them up while I’m away so they won’t destroy anything. I enjoy sitting in the silence, I rarely turn the tv on, and only hearing the air conditioner running in the back ground, the sound of the ice maker freezing ice, the animals playing with their toys, and other noises that my house makes.
It’s in the “silence” that I can truly listen to God and Holy Spirit within me so I truly enjoy just hangin out at home.
Honestly, I am not looking forward to going back to normal in the work place. Of course I miss being with my co workers and talking and laughing and spending time with them but through technology we’ve still been able to see one another when we need to or when we just want to see one anothers faces.
Don’t misunderstand, I will be happy to return to normal but my point is that I’m not miserable living out the pandemic issues either.
So, let me ask you, Where is YOUR happy place? Where do you long to be for enjoyment and pleasure? Or are you in your happy place right where you are as well?