Category Archives: Personal Reflections on Holidays

Merry Christmas!

Holiday lights: twinkling, brightly colored jewels.  This time of year they gloriously adorn houses & trees; they transform the ordinary into the festive.

This morning, wearing a professor hat, I was moved to think of students, all students, as holiday lights, filling our future with shining brightness.  People, like light, can lead us, can show us the way when it is dark.  And, students are filling their minds with the learning, the growth, the challenges they need to lead through tough times.  And, there will surely be tough times ahead.

Now I am thinking of all the single parents facing Christmas alone today.  During these holidays, you are also leaders; you hold the light, you  show the way for children who need hope to grow and thrive.  But it is not be easy to create the holiday spirit alone.  And holiday spirit, like every kind of positive energy, must be created.  It doesn’t just descend.   Many single parents approach the holiday season tired and finish exhausted.

To all who are struggling this season, I wish you strength.  May you find the energy to shine as brightly as you can, and may you also find the compassion and empathy to forgive what you cannot do or provide.  You can only be your best, and that must be good enough. And, if you can find some laughter, some joy, you will shine like the brightest of lights, and you will give hope to the children who are counting on you.  The children are our future.

Holidays: Happy Times; Trying Times

Holidays are wonderful: delicious food and drink, laughter, time “off” from work. Just thinking of a perfect pumpkin pie sends me to a very happy place: the sweetly seasoned custard filling, the flaky pastry crust, and copious cream topping. Yum!

But holidays are also stressful, and too often tinged with sadness.  For some, there are “supposed to be” feelings that leave gaping holes.  [“I am supposed to be enjoying the holidays with a husband or at least a special someone.”  “My children are supposed to be celebrating with their mother and father together.”]

I do not know how to erase the sadness.  One can compartmentalize, focus on the good and try not to think about that which is painful.  On can fill the void with pie, and denial.

Today, I am thinking of acknowledging the struggles, raising a glass, and toasting “To Survival.”

Today, I am especially thankful for the people who have acknowledged, with kindness and compassion, that raising children alone is not easy.  I am particularly grateful for those who just listen, and offer a hug.

I am thankful for those who don’t judge, and don’t try to fix things, but who just offer an ear.  It is with the support of those patient people that I and many like me have survived.

I am trying too to believe the best about that those who are impatient, those who don’t get that the struggles continue.  Maybe the people who think one should simply “get over” a divorce because years have passed just do not understand.

I will try toasting to them too.  Maybe their “judging” is really just blissful ignorance.  Maybe it doesn’t mean they care any less….