Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope that each of you have had a lovely time celebrating Christ's birth, enjoying family and friends, eating good food, listening to reindeer hooves, and opening presents :) I made this little quiz for some holiday fun, and I invite all of my blog friends to participate - Laura, Cara, Britt, Martha, Ben, RC, Anton, and Sheri! Feel free to add any other questions.

Four Favorite Christmas Songs:
1. O Holy Night - but only when it's sung well. A lady at our church always used to sing it in this horribly warbled operatic style, no thank you.
2. Silent Night
3. Happy Christmas (War is Over) - This song really captures the bittersweet emotions I feel during this season, reflecting on the past, and looking forward to the future.
4. Sleigh Ride - I used to gallop around the house singing and dancing to this song while decorating the tree :)

Christmas Songs I Could Do Without Hearing Next Year:
1. Baby, it's Cold Outside - I know it's supposed to be cute and flirty, but listening to 3 1/2 minutes of a woman saying no to a man pressuring her to spend the night just makes my stomach churn. "No" means "NO!" gentlemen!
2. Miss You Most (At Christmastime) by Mariah Carey - because Christmas is all about moping over your lost loves, right?
3. Christmas Don't Be Late by Alvin and the Chipmunks *cringe*

Four Favorite Christmas Movies:
1. Love Actually - Ok, I suppose I can allow a little romance into the Christmas season, just because this is one of my favorite films
2. It's a Wonderful Life
3. A Christmas Story
4. Elf

Four Foods I Eat Each Christmas:
1. Chicken Spaghetti
2. Waffles
3. Brie cheese rounds with cranberries an pears
4. Homemade Fudge!

Four Christmas Traditions I Enjoy:
1. Christmas Eve candle light church service
2. Christmas Eve dinner at the Caver Clubhouse with my huge family
3. Hitching a ride to my grandma's nursing home
4. Singing Christmas carols with my aunts and cousins at my grandma's nursing home

Four Things I got for Christmas this year:
1. Stylish pants and shoes for my practicum
2. Once and Memento on DVD
3. 2 Books: one of Ray Bradbury stories and one about psychodynamic therapy
4. Pink bunny rabbit pajamas. I kid you not, and I'm wearing them on New Year's baby!

Alright, I look forward to reading your responses :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

striped socks and track shoes

I cried tonight while watching Juno. I never expected a clever comedy about a sarcastically witty pregnant teenager to make my cry, but it did. I wasn't bawling or anything and the tears weren't even falling down my cheeks, but I was wiping my wet eyes by the end of it.

What other films have made me cry? The Lion King, Armageddon, We Were Soldiers, Crash. I'm sure there were a few others, but it's somewhat rare for me to cry during a film. It's usually scenes of extreme loss and grief that cause me to cry tears of sadness, but my tears during Juno weren't tears of sadness - at least not for the characters anyway. There was a sense of loss, but mostly I felt joy for the characters who had found something that they were deeply longing for.

What films make you cry?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

kum ba ya or something

A week ago, I attended the last class of my first semester of graduate school. After we completed our presentations, our professor gathered us in a circle. She told us how she always likes to do a closing activity with each of her classes, as well as when closing with one of her clients. She likes these closing "ceremonies" because it helps her and others to say good-bye and gives all an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the experience. She asked us to hold hands, and then said that others in our department joked that the "counseling psychology professors want movable furniture so we can hold hands in a circle and sing kum-ba-ya." We laughed, but were all relieved that she never asked us to sing. Instead, we each briefly commented on what we had learned from this course, and our professor gave us a longer reflection of what she thought of our class.

Like this professor, I also appreciate closing ceremonies. Having just written about saying good-bye, it dawned on me, "Good-byes are important to me!" I once said something to the effect of, "I don't believe in good-byes," but I think what I really meant was, "Good-byes aren't permanent." As I've recently transitioned and moved, I really haven't made a big deal out of saying good-bye since I truly believe that each of these good-bye will eventually be followed with another hello. I do believe in good-byes, though I sometimes downplay them, good-byes are important to me. I love the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of an experience or a relationship. I crave meaning.

Goodness, sometimes I'm the queen of closure. Frequently after a break-up, I'll write a long letter to the former boyfriend, because there's always something to say and some question that I want answered. They usually thoughtfully respond, and this closure helps. But what I most love to hear is, "You were meaningful to me. Though we didn't work out, you have touched my life in a special way and it was meaningful." And that's what I want to say when I say good-bye to anyone, "You were meaningful to me. Though we're parting now, you have touched my life in a special way and it was meaningful. God be with you until we meet again."

But sometimes you don't say this. Sometimes you just borrow each other's DVDs and say something awkward like, "See you in January, or not," laughing and smiling. Whether meaning is overtly expressed, or good-byes are downplayed, something is shared between two or more in these closings.

God be with you, until we meet again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

and they were all yellow

While Texas isn't known for its fall foliage, there is this one lovely tree that I walk under every day on the way to work. Last week, this tree exploded into a vibrant bright yellow, and simultaneously dropped half of its yellow leaves onto the ground below. Every day since then, no matter what I may be thinking about ("Am I running late? I hope no one is waiting on me!" "What will I say in this presentation I'm giving today?"), as I walk through the sea of yellow below and gaze at the same bright canopy above, I am overwhelmed by the colors and utterly compelled to smile. There's no choice in this action, and very little thought involved; I simply experience the colors and feel a rush of joy.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


How do you say goodbye to someone you were just starting to get to know? Does "I will miss you," even mean anything? Are these the hardest or easiest goodbyes? Hard because there's no certainty that a friendship will continue, hard because you're saying goodbye not just to a person, but to potential. Easy because their presence in your life was brief enough to be easily filled once its gone.

So, should you even say goodbye? Maybe "good luck" would be more appropriate, but those two simple words completely ignore what is being lost, even when you don't completely know what you're losing.