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Christmas, New Year's, A Prayer of a Song

It's the week after Christmas. NYE. The chaos has (mostly) died down, and we're all recuperating, right?

This year, Christmas Day was quiet for us; gifts don't take long when there are only two of you.

I made cinnamon buns, and then butternut squash soup. We missed (and then watched) the Queen's Christmas message, and a fascinating episode of The Nature of Things about Stonehenge and its neolithic history.

And then after dinner, I cried.

Despite the near perfection of the day, especially its lack of busy-ness, I felt overwhelmed by life, by the reality of family expectations, by life change, and by my inability to pinpoint exactly what I "want" in life - especially in light of my nearly-complete Master's degree.

"It just doesn't end," I cried, "I feel like it's all too much. Is this what the next 30 years will be like??"

The next day I sat chatting with two quite delightful moms of young kids. Both readily admitted their ongoing struggles to keep everything going, to "have it all together." I felt relieved to know these strong women and loving moms have the same struggle I do.

But I also want more for each of us. For all of us.

I want us to know hope in the midst of the tiredness, the monotony, the unexpected. I want us to be creating new traditions, rewriting our lives with beauty and grace and gratitude.

My favourite December song captures these sentiments exactly like I wish I could. So I'll leave you with this wish/prayer for the new year courtesy of Sleeping At Last:

May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

(full lyrics below)

The branches have traded their leaves for white sleeves
All warm-blooded creatures make ghosts as they breathe
Scarves are wrapped tightly like gifts under trees
Christmas lights tangle in knots annually

Our families huddle closely
Betting warmth against the cold
But our bruises seem to surface
Like mud beneath the snow

So we sing carols softly, as sweet as we know 
A prayer that our burdens will lift as we go
Like young love still waiting under mistletoe
We'll welcome december with tireless hope

Let our bells keep on ringing
Making angels in the snow
May the melody disarm us
When the cracks begin to show

Like the petals in our pockets
May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

The table is set and our glasses are full
Though pieces go missing, may we still feel whole
We'll build new traditions in place of the old
'cause life without revision will silence our souls

So let the bells keep on ringing
Making angels in the snow
May the melody surround us
When the cracks begin to show

Like the petals in our pockets
May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

As gentle as feathers, the snow piles high
Our world gets rewritten and retraced every time
Like fresh plates and clean slates, our future is white
New Year's resolutions will reset tonight


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