While having coffee with my sister the other night, we were reminiscing about Christmases past and how this year is so different than the ones we've shared before. It's true, this year is very, very different for a lot of reasons. From the grey and muddy weather to the people we'll be celebrating with, this Christmas will come and go, just like all of the others, and we'll head into 2012 as subtly different versions of the people we were before.
Like anyone else, I have my preferences, there is a certain way that I think things should be or how I would want them to be. Like anyone else, I'm sometimes disappointed or frustrated when what makes perfect sense to me doesn't seem to be so logical or feasible to someone else. Like anyone else, I'm looking forward to see what 2012 will bring, wondering about the future, and wondering what will change and what will stay the same, and hating the fact that there's no way I can know.
It's Christmas Eve morning, and I'm surrounded by the happy sound of snoring dogs, content that they're warm and well-cared for. Particularly, my foster, Colby, who seems to wake up every morning, truly grateful to see my face, knowing I'm the person who picked him up from the pound. Colby sleeps on the floor, most times, since the other two have long ago claimed the sofa or the bed. Colby still finds a comfortable place (usually not far from me) to lay down and rest. When he's finally asleep, his tongue pokes out of his mouth and
he's completely at peace
When I think about the dogs, particularly Colby, I think about how dogs can be always present in the moment. They don't worry about the future, they don't generally have anxiety about the unknown. I watch them and am in complete awe of how contented they can be, and how they're completely unaware of what a gift it is to be able to live out their days in such a state of acceptance.
2011 was a great year for so many reasons, even with all of the highs, lows, frustrations and disappointments. Today, I am somewhat of a different version of who I was before I walked into my office on January 5th, having decided that it was time to make a change.
The other night, my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas. When she asked, I was very sure I knew specifically what would make me smile and bring a sense of happiness to me tomorrow. It seemed a "no-brainer" - I knew exactly what I wanted. Now that I've been thinking about it, I realized that of all of the things I want or that I think I want, I have to say now that all I want for Christmas is to learn to live with an attitude of acceptance instead of expectation.
I want to enter 2012 as someone who accepts things as they come and go, without judgement and with a sense of gratefulness for the life I have, exactly as it is., understanding that things are wonderful, every single day - just like Colby.
Stacy Sloan; Chef & Founder of Three Little Birds