Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Twas The Night After Christmas

Photo from
Just after Thanksgiving I found the little USB Christmas tree my parents gave me a few years ago. It's only about three inches tall and glows bright blue. When I brought it to work and plugged it into my computer I thought, 'Yep. That's about all the holiday cheer I can muster.' It had been a rough couple of weeks for me, and I just didn't have a lot of Christmas spirit.

A few days later I was flipping through a magazine and found a quote I loved so much that I tore the page out and put it up in my cubicle. It's an excerpt from Lemony Snicket's, The Lump of Coal.

It goes like this:

"It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to
eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is
you like to do. The holiday season, like all the other seasons, is a good time not only to
tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful
for them, and that's the end of this particular story."

This is a children's book about a lump of coal who goes looking for a miracle. He makes a friend in the end and learns what miracles are all about. I just think the sentiment above is so sweet and so truthful. I know we all understand the importance of being grateful for the blessings in our lives, especially during the holidays, but I love the idea of viewing these things as miracles. It's one thing to be grateful for our loved ones, but it's another thing to step back and realize what a miracle it really is to have these amazing human connections. Every morning when I went into work this month I would see this excerpt on the wall and it helped remind me of all the miracles in my own life. And after the shootings in Connecticut happened I clung to this sentiment even more. Life is precious and short. Sometimes too short.

It's my goal for the new year to go beyond being grateful and start paying attention to the miracles in my life. What if every day I looked for these little miracles? My friends, my family, my dog, the ability to pay rent and go to a job I like and eat food and sleep in a warm bed and read books and laugh and cry and run and breathe deeply--the list goes on. In an unpredictable world, all these things are miracles. I just hope I don't lose sight of this in the new year.