Off The Deep End

Well, it’s 11:30pm on January 2nd, and after a rest-filled week off of work, I am preparing to return to real life tomorrow. My neighbors are taking their Christmas lights down, and my across-the-street neighbors have a deflated, sad-looking Santa in their front yard, who is just a shell of his former, air-filled glory. I’m always sad when Christmas is over – I love the lights, the music, the smells, All Things Christmas. I’m kind of like Will Ferrell in Elf when Christmas rolls around. New Years too – I love the whole idea of starting fresh each year. Basically, the holidays are generally a high point for me. So I’m a little disappointed to be saying goodbye to my neighbor’s inflatable Santa and hello to my real life.
Last Christmas was a difficult one for me, and my goal this holiday season was to be present for all of the big and little things that make up the holiday season. I have much to be thankful for this year – family, friends, health, and most of all the gift of Jesus. But I’ve also been mindful of some smaller “nuggets” of holiday joy – little things that made me smile over the past several weeks. Some of these “nuggets” are related to Christmas and the holiday season, and some are just special things that have made me smile for various reasons. Here are some of those nuggets:
1) Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses – Oh my gosh these are delicious. I could eat a whole bag of them (and may or may not have done that). Little bite-sized white chocolate-peppermint-flavored goodness. Yum.
2) Seat warmers – Back in early October, I traded in my previous Volkswagen (named “Gideon Sparticus”) for a little white Volkswagen Jetta (named “Barnabus Hope” – it’s a long story). And my little Jetta has seat warmers, which are basically the greatest thing ever. It can be 6 degrees outside (which it recently was) and I can feel toasty warmth emitting from beneath the leatherette (that’s pretend leather) of my seats. Makes the lower half of my body so happy.
3) Jeans at work – My workplace underwent a dress code revision this past year, which allows for jeans at work. I. Love. Jeans. – and I was practically giddy when this dress code revision was revealed. Next to wearing yoga pants to work (which I would do if I could), wearing jeans is the next best thing. A bonus is when it’s very cold outside and I get to pair my jeans with my Uggs. Winning.
4) Weighted blanket – I sometimes have difficulty sleeping. I often can’t seem to quiet my mind down and shut down at night (hence the fact that it is 12:07am right now and I am typing). One of my friends suggested a weighted blanket, which helps one to settle down and promotes relaxation. I ordered one and I absolutely love it. I thought I would wake up in the night feeling suffocated, but I don’t. It provides pressure and comfort, while not being too hot. I have slept under it for the majority of the past several weeks.
5) Buying gifts for Madeleine – This was my baby niece’s first Christmas. And I may or may not have gone a little overboard buying Christmas gifts for her. But it was so. much. fun. And watching her crawl around in her little Christmas dress was EVERYTHING.
6) Hot chocolate at work – My workplace has procured a Keurig, and somebody (who is my hero) provided several boxes of little K-Cups of hot chocolate. I have been enjoying hot chocolate at work twice a day for the past several weeks. Gaining weight I am, but that hot chocolate makes me so happy.
7) Lined gift wrap – When I wrap gifts, they end up looking like they were wrapped by a 5-year-old with no thumbs (no offense intended to thumbless 5-year-olds). Whoever invented lined gift wrap was pretty genius.
8) Star Wars – I somehow missed out on the Star Wars craze, but I saw Rogue One with some of my besties a couple of weeks ago. I loved it, and have commenced watching the Star Wars movies in chronological order (I hear that you are supposed to watch them in order of release date, but the thought of watching them out of episode order bugs me, so episode order it is).
9) Binge-watching Netflix with my Mom – My Mom and I have started a habit of binge-watching certain TV shows together. We have tackled This is Us, Blacklist and Quantico, and are right now digging into Blue Bloods and Law & Order: SVU.
10) This is Us – Best. TV show. Ever.
11) Christmas lights – I love them every year. I have bullied my friends and family into driving around looking at them several times over the past few weeks, and it never gets old to me.

So these are some of the things that have made me grateful over the past several weeks. I’m hoping that looking back at this blog post will remind me to practice gratitude in the little things, which is one of my goals for the new year. Best wishes for a happy and joyful 2017.