So a little bit of a preface, this is kind of a winding rant, and while it’s free for everyone to read and do what they will with it, I wrote this with someone in mind, someone I care about who suffered a very sudden tragic family loss this close to Christmas, which is a loss that no amount of words could solve. So yeah, I’m sorry if this is both too nonsense and sombre in advance
So, Christmas. It’s the time of giving, family, celebrating and generally the about the positive excess of the human spirit, one day dedicated to being thoroughly a good human being. Or at least that’s how it’s wrote on paper. The reality is somewhat.. more commercial. These days, and for decades now it’s been increasingly a congealment of consumerism and act of useless gifting. It’s hard,too, to stay true to the original concept too, consuming stuff is just such an inviting and simple thing, so you could see how someone could easily become cynical for the season.
I’ll confess I have become cynical (and I mean, have you SEEN the shocking abominations of Christmas campaigns in stores this year?), which is a shame because I used to be ALL about Christmas, quite actually. But this is 2013, my personal JDAM of existential quarter life crisis, and I’ve made it my own personal to try and make sense of everything the ball hit, evaluate what’s still standing, and that’s something I’d like to pass on, a new way to make sense of it all. Christmas is no different.
Mid last week I was in Midland Gate, the shopping centre that defines living in the north-eastern suburbs (small, not as wealthy as it seems, actually quite old, recently renovated to interest new money), taking in the tacky Christmas slogans and wares, doing the passive mental task of coming up with jabs for each of them as I passed, while the rest of the shopping party did the far less constructive thing of going into shops and sampling the wares. You know how it is, enter the centre, switch off brain, don’t get mad.
So we were walking along, and suddenly I spied a Jewelery store with a placard out the front. Now, Midland Gate has no less than five permenant jewelers in it’s walls, and all of them had enticements to the effects of “give something REALLY special this Christmas”, while doling out what is effectively their equivalent of bargain bin finger ornaments. So I saw the placard, the big juicy budget ring at the “low low price”, the diamond necklace of zircon , but then I saw the slogan on it
Now, look at that phrase, “CELEBRATE Every Day”. The contempt for the holiday spirit shown in 3 words, my boiled instantly boiled looking at it. They would have you believe that luxury items are the way to celebrate life, and nay, that celebration of excess must continue every day? What a load. So, after taking a photo for the sake of mockery, I continued on, stewing. The words though, they stuck in my head and latched onto other thoughts in my mind.
Now, 2013’s been a bit of a shit year for positive thought for me, started with about 3 months of low sleep PURELY from existential thoughts just bombarding me while trying to rest, with their tendrils weaving their effects throughout the year. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of has been categorised by a massive resurgence of self-confidence issues, which left lingering thoughts in my mind. Most resolved now ,thankfully, but some still stick in my head on occasion.Anyway.
Here’s the result of two hours of stewing those words with the remaining unresolved questions in my mind.
Step back from that placard and it’s dumb slogan for a second. We are all exactly mortal, no more or less than that. We are born, we will die. We will make mistakes, we will achieve great things in the days we’ve got on this earth. What matters is that you recognise that your life is both long and significant from your own view.
It is finite however, and as is everyone elses, so when you lose someone close it’s like dinner bell reminder of that fact, on top of the sheer concept of that person no longer being a part of your life. Everyone has a Trenzalore, and fortunately, most don’t get the burden of foreknowledge about it. So the thing that is ultimately important in amongst this absolute uncontrollable time and finality is one thing-
Celebrate. EVERY day.
The slogan was right, but the emphasis was wrong.
Each day you live is one given to you by atomic reactions begun billions of years ago. There are literally infinite probabilities that could caused the perfect aligning of things to happen that came to make you as a living person.
The old saying goes- “Live today as if you’re going to die tomorrow”, but I think that’s a little too desperate and dire. The more important thing is to understand to yourself that each day is unique and your standing there to experience it is against ASTRONOMIC odds, and everyone else who is with you on any given day too, is beating odds that only astrophysicists could calculate.
Make those odds count, acknowledge everyone to who you share the day with, and to remember the ones who the astronomic odds tragically caught up with, and importantly, remember them for all the days they were with you, as part of your life and you as part of theirs ,because those are significant days, every single one of them, and the only times worth being remembered.
So bringing it back to Christmas. Christmas is probably the greatest opportunity to acknowledge the single more important thing in life – that you are not alone is defying every single odd, and likewise , to those who share your days, they too are not alone, and to tell them and display your appreciation for their . Oh sure, there’s Christian dogma too that some people go for, but to me, that’s what Christmas is. All the fellowship, the caring, it’s all ultimately in the service of that one goal- Displaying your appreciation to family and friends for being part of your life.
Everything else is just tertiary guff, even the pudding and turkey.
So that’s kind of where I’m at, I guess I’m kind of back in the Christmas spirit. Maybe not in the direct “Red,Green and White” sense, but in the personal acknowledging of the people around me who make this astronomically improbably life worth trying to continue. I think I can say this to about everyone who reads this super unimportant super un-updated blog, Thankyou for making my days richer.
Celebrate EVERY day.