Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas is Done

The presents have all been opened, the food eaten and Christmas 2011 is already a fading memory. Time to begin looking ahead to 2012. Some people say it will be the last year of our existence. Others say all the 2012 hysteria has been blown out of proportion. With that 'possible' end in mind, I have begun thinking of my resolutions for the New Year.

Number One: I refuse to believe the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. While I do think there might be some changes to disaster prone areas, I don't feel God is going to wipe out the world just because the planets will make a rare alignment. The Bible tells us no man will know when the end is coming, and I think the Mayans are exempt too.

Number Two: I will learn to roll with the punches. The past three years have been filled with loss and pain and confusion, but in 2012 I intend to judge what I get upset about and what I accept as God's will for me. He knows I have a lot to learn about patience and a lot of pride to put aside.

Number Three: There must be more balance in my day. Trying to be all things to all people is only wearing me to a stump. I am God's child, my husband's wife and my children's mother. I am a writer, a thinker and a free spirit. That is more than enough for anyone.

Number Four: My first book will be published next year. I resolve to put all my spare time and energy into making "Catalyst: Guardian Rising" into a success, as well as working on the next books in the series. It is what I have wanted since I was a child. I pray that God approves and blesses this career change.

Number Five: Above all, I resolve to be happy. I've been happy and I've been sad and happiness is infinitely more satisfying. But happiness is also a choice, one that I intend to make more often.

If 2012 is to be the last year of our existence, then it shall be a glorious one. If not, then it will still be glorious. The choice is mine.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Preparing for the Holidays

It takes time to gear up for the holidays. Time to shop, time to cook, clean, wrap, cook some more, wrap more and then all of your hard work is ripped open, eaten, dirtied or broken before the relatives are all gone. It is sad to think for most of us the credit card memories will linger long past the holiday glaze our faces acquire somewhere around dark on Christmas Day.

Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas. From the smell of bourbon with eggnog to the sparkle of color wheel on the silver aluminum tree I have strong memories about this special day more than any other. My brother and sister showing me where the Christmas presents were hidden so I would open them and get in trouble with my mother; wondering why Santa used the same felt tip writing pen as my father and my grandmother always given my dad a carton of smokes every year are just a few of my more interesting tales of holiday bliss. Oh families, where would we be without them?

But the good thing about Christmas is it keeps coming back year after year. A new chance to make great memories or to have it all spoiled in the blink of an eye because no one remembered to tell you the vegetarian second cousin of your late uncle's ex-wife now eats meat and your great-aunt Martha's second husband gets gas if he eats yams instead of sweet potatoes. (Who knew there was a difference?) 

As we grow older (but not necessarily up), the faces around the tables change as people come and go. Parents become children and children grow up to have their own children and the cycle continues, back up to the top of the clock on New Year's Day.

I wouldn't miss a single day of the entire season. Even a writer can't make up stuff as weird as the truth.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7

I just noticed the date. December 7th. The day that will live in infamy. On television they are showing "Pearl Harbor" and "From Here to Eternity" while the last remaining survivors relive the day they can never forget. It has been seventy years but for those who were there, it was only yesterday.

As a child we visited Hawaii. It was the late 1960's and the rush to develop and exploit the islands was in its infancy. I will always remember my father, a WWII veteran describe the significance of the Punchbowl, the volcano turned into a cemetery and seeing the Arizona memorial from a distance. He wouldn't go out there. I think he was afraid there might be someone in there he knew. I remember thinking if the volcano were to suddenly erupt, would it rain coffins all over the city?

Too many of us have forgotten the lessons of Pearl Harbor. The world does not love the United States like they did. We have been lucky. Except for 9/11 we have taken the war to others, never suffered the wounds on our lands. On this day, as on Veteran's Day or D-Day, we as Americans need to look back and remember. Remember those who took the words of the Declaration of Independence to heart - "We hold these truths self evident...all men are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

But our happiness is not necessarily those of others. If we force our form of democracy on other countries are we allowing them to experience their own pursuits of happiness? Once upon a time, our government practised a policy of non intervention in countries that were not in our hemisphere. Perhaps it is time to renew that policy.

Perhaps it is time for Americans to realize, we are not the world's caretakers. We have our version of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not apply to every person in every country. Each must find their own happiness. If it is the same as ours, wonderful. But do not forget the men who have died to defend the world's liberty. They gave the ultimate sacrifice and it is to them we owe our gratitude.