When I was in second grade I owned a red and green plaid vest with matching plaid pants (trimmed in white eyelet for a little bling.) No lie. And since I was seven and my mom decided my daily wardrobe, this plaid piece of work is what was laid out for picture day. And I resisted this decision with every bit of my adolescent being (although my mom was no respecter of the great humiliation that awaited my plaid ensemble at school, nor the major tantrum that ensued)…which resulted in a much deserved slap across the face…which left a nice red mark above my left eyebrow…which has been forever captured in the 1984 Eastview Elementary school yearbook – to my mother’s great dismay. Tough love. Funny enough, the gouge above my eye created enough buzz to distract from my plaid situation. So, thanks mom…I think.
And here we are…smack in the middle of that weirdish space that forces us out of our sugar-cookie comas and into a serious bout of reckoning. We’ve polished off the last of Christmas left overs and now our attention turns towards the approaching New Year. And if there was ever a time for reflection…
Hold up a moment though. Before you go making that well intentioned list of New Year & New You, may I enter in to that rousing conversation that you’re having with yourself? You know the one. Where your inner critic (yea, we all got ‘em) is staging a mutiny against your interior defense. And there’s this pile of deficits accumulating and an alarming inclination to declare your way to awesomeness (or to at least “fix” what’s not okay.) Cue New Year Resolution list.
So the local Target quit playing holiday music, and I find myself humming “Holly Jolly Christmas” all over the store. Cause, Christmas spirit ya’ll. And as I wander through each plaid filled tinsel wrapped isle, I take notice of faces passing by. They seem strained, harshly intense, and perhaps a little… panicked. Not so much holly jolly going on. And I consider while unloading the groceries…the hype and spin of “the most wonderful time of the year”. If that’s really the case, then some folks need to tell it to their face because their grimace is reading less holly jolly and more holy jalopy! And I get it. The uncomfortable expectations of it all. They tend to clobber us from all sides this time of year. December provides no shortage of petitions for your time and energy – that’s for sure. And somewhere between the third Christmas concert, the eighth string of lights out on the tree, the fourteenth plate of Christmas cookies and the fifty third hand written Christmas card…well, we are all sporting our holy jalopy mean mugs. (Merry Christmas.)
A while back, by accident I happened upon an interview portion of the Miss America Pageant. Intrigued with the proposed question, I leaned in for the contestant’s response. “What is some of the best advice you have ever received?” Miss Whatever oozed adorable as she replied in sugary sweet southern accent “My grand-mama told me that there will always be someone smarter than you, someone prettier than you, more talented and with more ambition …just pray to God that she’s not standing right next to you.”
1) How do you feel about turning ten?
2) What are some highlights from this past year?
“Vacation at Hilton Head Island, riding roller coasters at King’s Island, all our sleepovers… and 3rd grade was fun!”
3) What do you want to do when you get older?
“”Be a teacher for special needs kids.” (This kid lights up around her special needs friends)
4) What kind of person do you want to be?
“Kind, nice, generous, smart and loving.” (And always funny please)