Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Taking a Mid-Season Breather

Thirteen more days until Christmas. The stores are filled with people who have a slightly crazed gleam in their eyes as they mutter to themselves from aisle to aisle: "Grandma, Aunt Ethel, my sister, Bob's sister, oh god, the teachers, what on earth.....?" The canned carols are starting to sound too loud, the holiday aisles are looking a little battered but still stuffed with stuff.

By now many of us have been to at least one holiday event (I attended my eighth annual interminable school holiday concert last night), we're looking at our calendars as they fill up and getting a little frantic when we realize that "not this weekend but NEXT WEEKEND IS CHRISTMAS! AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH"

I haven't finished my shopping (I still have my grandparents to shop for, and also helping the kids get their stuff done, as well as some of my sister's shopping for my son). I have something-or-other every day for the next week straight. I haven't put the tree in yet. (perhaps today) I *have* gotten my Christmas cards done (I am obnoxiously early with those every year). I haven't wrapped a single present. [Oh, and I need to print out photos of the kids for the album I am putting together for my ex-father-in-law and his wife]

And yet, today I am peaceful. I am looking out my window and enjoying the snow-covered branches of the trees, and the way my new fence is half-buried in snow. I am wiggling my toes in a cheap new pair of Christmas socks while Kira skates around the floors in another pair. I fixed a nice hot breakfast for my two kids, am running a load of laundry, and am feeling pleasantly domestic and organized (even though I am neither). The kids have a half-day of school today, Mark has quarterfinals in basketball this afternoon, and these events are exciting to me.

I read a wonderful email this morning, forwarded by a friend. It was one of those mass-forwards, that most people skim through and delete (and indeed, I'll be deleting it, too, as I don't usually forward those things). But it really put me in mind of our Lord, and all of the blessings he has given me. Even when I forget about Him for long stretches of time, He never forgets me, and He keeps me safe. He makes sure that the little amount of money that I have is always enough not just for the basics, but for little luxuries. He has kept my children safe, and has made them healthy and strong and wonderful.

In this season of Santa, I need to take many moments to remember what the real purpose of this holiday is. I need to give thanks for the sacrifice Jesus made for me, and for my children, and give thanks that in a cold, dirty little barn, God gave us a miraculous gift.

I need to remember that Christmas is not about the material. I need to remember, it is all about love.

Merry Christmas. mk


Anonymous said...

Markira, what a great entry! It's great to see that not everyone in the world has forgotten the 'reason for the season'. I'm afaraid that the true meaning of Christmas is slowly becoming lost to the next generation (my own kids included).

Your entries have become infrequent. I had to resort to reading other blogs(!) on your blogroll.....and I'm pretty sure I've discovered your "real name" (haha) - please, be more careful! I hope you get some time to post more---your "stuff" makes for good reading on this long, overnight shift!

Here's hoping that Christmas is truly peaceful for you and yours!!
Mr. P (you can call me Paul)

markira said...


Thanks for your comment. I know I've been very lax lately on my posting, and hope to do better. (See above for an especially long and windy entry!) Basketball season took a lot of time and energy this year.

I do know it's not really difficult to track down my "real name" through my connections with other blogs (two in particular--most of the rest I stick with mk). So I'll just ask: please do not be a psycho stalker and hunt me down and kill me. There. I feel better. ;)

Do you blog yourself? If so, send a link!

K, must get back to (*sigh*) the real world. mk

Anonymous said...

Markira - I'm truly sorry if I've spooked you, or freaked you out in any way. Like I had written earlier, I was just reading other 'blogs' that you had listed.

Listen, I just want to give you a few reasons why I really looked forward to reading your entries. Ready?!
1) My younger brother suffers from bipolar disorder (mania?), and was just released from a 21 day lockup in a psych ward. Tonight, he finally crossed the line and became physical with my 72 yr. old dad. I am slightly afraid of him. I don't understand why he cannot be forced to take his meds. He is destroying his family.

2) My wife also suffered from bipolar disorder(depression?) Her behavior (now) is the "opposite" of my brother; but she feels that a few years ago, it was a major contributing factor to us losing our home. Your earlier entries on your dealings w/ these issues is/was interesting; I don't know how you "keep on keepin' on".

3) My wife & I like Maine. This past June, I surprised her w/ a 3-day stay in the town (city?) of Rockland on the coast, for our anniversary. Three days of peace, with no kids. I gave her a new wedding ring and band to replace the original stuff that was lost. (It all went smoothly, I was a hero for 3 days!!). We often talk about 'retiring' up their, because we do not like the heat.

4) You had some great photos of your sailing 'adventure', and I was able to see that same lighthouse located w-a-y out on the water that my wife & I walked all the way out to. (I forgot what time of year you were out sailing; maybe you cruised right by. Was it even 2006?!)

So you see, your "Reflections of Nothing" (to me) are more than that. After finally getting the nerve to post a comment (you said I was 'lurking'..?!) - I feel like I "know somebody" from Maine!!

In all seriousness, though - I'll put your mind at ease, and just be a reader of your blog, if that's okay. I work in Rhode Island 3 nights a week; 12 hour shifts. I just passed the 20-year mark (I'm sick of it!). I have access to the internet all night long, and your blog happens to be WAY MORE interesting than the others on your blogroll!;) Look, you've even taught me how to use those little smiley-face thingies!!

Also, I wouldn't even know how to begin a blog of my own, and anyway - your life is more interesting.

Please accept my apology, and just keep on writing.....


Anonymous said...

P.S. - Our trip to Rockland was indeed this past June, but 2007!! It's a wonder that I remembered the anniversary at all!! (See what working nights does to you!)

markira said...


1) Dang, I'm losing my touch. I was joking with the psycho-stalker comment. You didn't freak me out.

2) Way cool that you brought your wife up to Rockland for your anniversary. I was born & raised in Rockland (which is technically a city, which I find hilarious). And yup, my sailing adventure on the Evans was in June...June 2nd, to be exact. Bren does a Benefit Day Sail every year...2008's is on May 31st.

3) "Lurker" is 'Netspeak for someone who doesn't post comments. It sounds negative but that's all it means. I'm very glad you "de-lurked" and comment, though!

4) Did I mention that you aren't freaking me out? I look forward to seeing if you've commented. It's exciting for a blogger to see that someone was touched enough by a post that they left a message.

5) I bet you have more to write about than you'd think. I never thought I'd have anything that anyone else would find interesting. My blog was just a means of getting some of my stuff out of my head (and bragging up my kids).

6) No worries, more entries about my struggles with depression will be coming. I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder and the dark months of winter are ahead. It will not be pretty.

7) Isn't Maine gorgeous? I wouldn't live anywhere else.

8) Unless someone is willing to pin your brother down and choke him into swallowing on a daily basis, taking his meds has to be his choice. Look for a post soon on my irregular med-taking.

9) The stalker-comment was totally a joke. Really.

10) 12-hour overnight shifts. Holy shit. I would never survive.

OK, I need to get moving on the day. Talk later!