Christmas cheer-up

What a difference a year makes.

Last year at this time I was in full self-pity mode. I had a job I hated (after less than a month there), Bruce was sick (he spent seven days in the hospital a week before Christmas), we were broke and a friend died on Christmas Day. I had started gaining weight from the stress, mostly from the job. (In the 11 months I worked at that place, I gained 25 pounds. Just from emotional eating.)

I hadn’t put up our big Christmas tree in a couple of years – didn’t put one up at all last year, even the little one. Bruce and I didn’t buy any Christmas gifts last year, either. Yes, this chick had one very blue, blue blue blue Christmas.

Even the truths I knew about God were truths in my head but not necessarily in my heart. He promised never to leave or forsake me, but I sure felt forsaken.

That was last year. I can’t say the pity party is completely over (we still have a lot of the same problems we had a year ago – some even worse), but God has led me through the darkest part (at least I hope so!).

I have dragged out the Christmas decorations (yes, it does seem worth it) and have even put up the big tree. I went to Hobby Lobby this evening to buy a couple of extra strands of blinking lights (with some of my birthday money), and as I left the store a cool wind blew across me. But instead of thinking, “Brrr, it’s cold!” I said to myself, “What an invigorating breeze!”

I used to loathe cold weather, but I have grown to appreciate it. Tonight, after what could have been a frustrating day (because a utility crew accidentally cut a cable, my office lost its Internet connection, rendering me nearly helpless to do most of the account processing I usually take care of each day), I was actually thankful for my job. That, in turn, helped me enjoy the chilly wind and the crystal-clear evening.

Nearly every day I tell God how grateful I am for the job (sometimes I forget – I take it for granted, just like I always will). I could enumerate all the reasons, but that’s for another post. Let me just say again, as I have said a couple of times here, that it is an AWESOME company to work for.

It’s amazing how one little change can be such a big deal. Working at the hell hole I came from, I thought I would always have a job I hated, whether it’s because I deserved to, because I’m just a whiner who’s never satisfied or (and this is what I really thought) that most people have jobs they hate. No one can really love his job. You hear people talking about loving their jobs, but you think they’re crazy (or lying), right?

But now I get it, because … I LOVE MY JOB!

And it makes all the difference in the world. Yes, we’re broker than broke, Bruce is still sick (oh, yeah, and I was diagnosed with a heart problem a few weeks ago), and we still have to sell our house. But my life is pretty good. Bruce asked me today how I was doing, and I replied, “Fantastic!” before I could think. He was surprised. He hasn’t heard me say anything that positive in a long time.

I’ve even lost 13 pounds (and counting) since leaving the other job.

What else is good? I’ve had so much extra time, I’ve started baking again. Can it get any better than that?

And tonight, with the beautiful early evening sky, the tiny sliver of moon and the celestial conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, paired with the invigorating breeze, I felt lighter than air.

What a difference a year makes.

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