Wednesday, December 8

Be Merry

so my husband Josh(who is a brilliant sharer of funny/useful/useless/crude ‘stuff’ he has found on the internet each day) brought this little clip to my attention; it’s Louis C. K.(have you heard of him? funny, offensive-but-likeable stand-up comedian who deplores and ridicules his fellow man and himself) appearing on the Connor O’Brien show to talk about how amazing life is these days. If you have 4 minutes to spare, or even if you don’t, go here to watch it:
Strangely, despite its comedic content, it got me thinking. Hanging washing on our little drying rack, in a room full of boxes both full and empty, I had been contemplating my usual ‘worry-list’(it’s like a Christmas wish list but not quite as fun). My Numero Uno worry now, as always, is financial stuff… I won’t bore you with the details, needless to say there are presents still to be bought, there are presents to be posted overseas, there are still bills to pay and cats to spay; and this year I feel the strain a little bit harder with house ‘renovations’(euphemistic term meaning here a couple of coats of patchy paint and some landscaping) and with Maddy having caught the Santa bug.
So I stood again at the same drying rack after watching that little amusing clip of truthiness, and almost miraculously, my eyes were opened. I am standing in a room that is sturdy, in a house that is luxurious by 90% of the world’s standards. The walls are all painted and dry, the roof and windows are weather tight, and not only that but a cool breeze blows from the ceiling fan which hangs in front of the 5 yr old heat pump.
The floor is cluttered, but not with rubbish or food scraps: it is covered with toys and books; discarded clothing lies in little heaps where it has been peeled off little bodies; piles of magazines line up against the wall; music plays from a tiny machine in the corner of the room; my husband stands in view, up to his wrists in floury dough, creating christmas mince pies; candles flicker sensually, their light reflecting off their cut-glass walls….. my two healthy beautiful children lie in separate beds, in separate rooms, without fear of disease or poverty or hunger. When they wake they will do so with anticipation of the childish life they lead, without the aged haunted look of children who wake to a day of adults labour, with hunger in their swollen bellies, and a house without walls.DSC06510
As a long-time ‘customer’ of depression, I often have a poor outlook on life, and am told(usually in a kindly tone) to pull my socks up, to remember those less fortunate, to be thankful for all that I have; this is a nigh-on impossible thing to do when actually in the grips of a depressive episode, but on a ‘clear’ day like today when I am rested and reasonable, I can see a bit of what everyone is talking about. I’m not wanting to view the world through rose-tinted glasses, nor to deny the hard reality of everyday life, and I am not trying to discount my miserable feelings – they are valid feelings. But it strikes me how truly amazing my life is. I am young and healthy, I have had two children without fearing their death from minor ailments or my own death from their birth. I may be in pain a lot of the time, but I live in both a time and a place where we can actually mask pain with amazing medication! My husband is a fair and loyal man, who is dedicated to his children and to me, and who loves to bake, and to read books. DSC06520
Not only that, but it is Christmas, the time of year that we celebrate the first and best gift: the boychild, laid in the manger. My usual Christmas-disillusionment has not yet come upon me, with its discontent and regret and longing. There are terrible things going on, both in the lives of people we know and love and in the wider world around us. There are people who face every Christmas with a sense of dread, of remembering and terribly missing loved ones. There are people who are waiting for potentially terrible news, trying to carry on with their normal lives and yet each breath brings dread to their heart. I have none of these things, but I ache for these people. But my life is good, and that should not be over-looked. I should not discount the happiness of my household, or feel guilty that we have such happiness.
Life is Good. Be Merry.

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