by Sarah Luna
Living alone forces introspection. I just read my last post, and I’m really disappointed. I had all these wonderful ideas floating around in my head about why Christmas is important, and why it is still important when you’re by yourself. And for some reason I couldn’t write any of them well. So I simply wrote nothing.
Anyone can celebrate when there are people around, but does Christmas still have meaning for people who are alone? (The symbolic interactionist in me is loving this question. Thank you, Theories class).
And I would say that of course it does. But then how do you celebrate when you’re alone and any extra time has to be stolen from sleep?
That’s why I looked at that post. And I did come up with two simple things for me to do.
- Listen to the evening bells. The Cornell Chimesmasters play concerts everyday at 7:45am, 1:15, and 6pm, and they’ve now added Christmas songs to their collection of hymns. Since I’m on campus until at least 8 every night, I now make a point of stopping whatever I’m doing to go outside and listen to the bells. It’s become my time of reflection.
- Read the Advent book each morning. I got a pamphlet at mass on Sunday with different Advent reflections for each day. The theme is waiting.
The last thing I need to work on is to quit being alone. Maybe this means calling my girls a little more often. Maybe this means being bold and talking about my spiritual needs with my new friends here. Maybe this means giving more of myself to others.
I’ll leave you with two themes that have stuck with me over the past few weeks.
God is simple. I wish I had thought of this, but I have to give credit to my roomie for that one. She pulled me out of an angry and petty mood with that. “God is simple; we’re the one’s who like to complicate things.”
Be the blessing. Ok, this one is mine, but please take it and share it. Be the blessing in someone else’s life. Be that answered prayer. When I go through my day with that mindset, life becomes beautiful. Yesterday, I focused on being the blessing in my students’ lives. How can help them survive this final? What can I do to alleviate their stress? The reciprocal part of that though is to let others be the blessing in your life. I have a hard time with that one. I don’t like to admit when I need help. At all. But then I’m not letting others be the blessing in my life. And that’s just selfish and mildly hypocritical. I’m working on it.
It’s December 1st. Sixteen days till home. Twenty-five days till Christmas.
Friends, if you think someone needs to hear this, please feel free to pass it along.