It's (Simply) A Wonderful Life

>> Tuesday, December 31, 2013

 I'm posting at The Barn Door today. Pop over there or read on. And...
Happy New Year to all!

Most everybody has seen the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." Frequently repeated throughout the month of December, it's one of those classics you never get tired of.

In the movie, we meet George Bailey, a man whose dreams of getting out of small town USA are dashed at every turn by circumstances, coincidences, and just plain bad luck. George decides the world might be better off without him, but his guardian angel, Clarence, steps up to prove otherwise.

He takes George on a journey through time and helps the distraught man realize just how important he is to those who love him.

Through the ordinary, everyday, and mundane, George begins to see the light.

Which leads me to consider my world and the end of 2013. Not in a discontented manner-quite the opposite. I have a terrific life in my own little small town USA.

It's a simple existence, just the way I like it. I prefer my daily routine uncomplicated. Easy-going. The less drama, the better. Some may term it dull and boring. Even monotonous. Often I would even agree with that assessment. But for the most part, it's all good.

I've learned to appreciate the simple. The little things. The routine.

Like winter.

I'm not a fan. Totally detest it and look forward to snowbird status in the future. But even I can appreciate the beauty of a Michigan blizzard as long as it's from my easy chair wrapped in fuzzy jammies.

As a kid, I didn't indulge in outdoor winter activities much. I tried, but it just wasn't my thing. My mother figured that out after spending large amounts of time bundling me up and being annoyed when I reappeared very shortly after going outside. Was probably a big relief when I opted to skip the whole thing and stay inside with a book.

Not too long ago, I sat and pondered winter while being stuck inside during an almost-blizzard. I was antsy and bored, wishing there was something to do besides stare at the swirling snow as it piled up out my back door. Eventually I worked myself into a a state of near-whining

Something needed to be done.

So I forced myself to look for the positives. Think about the importance of every season in regards to the workings of the earth--instead of just the ones I like.

I also tried to find the beauty out my window instead of being depressed. Fluffy snowdrifts and fluttery flakes in the sunshine were enough to bring a smile even to this grumpy hater of winter.

And then there's the wildlife. This picture by my friend Cari was taken somewhere in Michigan. Isn't it gorgeous? (Despite the pile of white stuff.)

Photo by Cari Povenz
So I learned a few lessons from good old George Bailey: Be grateful for what you have instead of whining about what you don't. Find beauty in the ordinary, the simple, the everyday. Watch the attitude. Be quick to love those around you. Be willing to try something different.

I'm excited about 2014. A new year always gives us a chance to start over. Right the wrongs in our world. Hope for the better. See what adventures lay ahead.

Time to go for it.

What about you?

Do you (simply) have a wonderful life?

I do.


Glad I Figured It Out

>> Thursday, December 12, 2013

This week I join the Holly Jolly Blog Hop. Be sure to check out some of the other blogs and link up below.

Usually my Christmas season is filled with shopping, activities, and general mayhem like most people.

This year is different. There's still some of that stuff on my plate, but something else as well. I have an underlying feeling of excitement that has had me looking beyond this month.

Beyond the carols, gifts, and gatherings.

And right past Christmas.

My gaze has been glued to January 2, to the exclusion of everything else. Why? Because that's the day I get on a plane to Cozumel.

This is a momentous trip for me as I've never really been on an all-enjoyment type vacation. I don't have the opportunity to travel often and usually it's for family events, visiting friends, etc. But this? This has only one purpose: FUN.

So yeah, I’ve been a bit pre-occupied. I didn’t purposely set out to ignore Christmas. Just have had other things on my mind. No Christmas carols have rang through my home and I’d decided to skip the whole tree and decorations thing. Why bother? I was busy with packing lists, summer clothes, and dreams of beaches instead of snow drifts.

But even though I figured I’d just kind of opt out of the holidays, somewhere along the way I pulled up short. What was I thinking? In my haste to push past it all, I’d also shoved out the real reason for Christmas: The birth of Christ.

I’ve always detested the commercialism that plagues our society in regards to Christmas, yet I’d lost sight in much the same way. My excitement over a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip had lead me to sidestep and I almost missed out on celebrating. Glad I figured it out.

I loaded Pandora with carols and put up a tree. The nativity set now graces the mantel of my fake fireplace. Christmassy candles flicker and the smell of evergreen floats through the house. Nothing like a dark living room with twinkly lights and music to help you gain perspective.

Christmas isn’t presents, decorations, or trips to sunny, faraway places. It’s about the greatest gift of all and God’s kindness when he sent us that baby. 

It’s all about him.

And that’s enough.


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