Skip to main content

Be of good cheer...dammit

I am not by nature a cheerful person. I am Irish. We have little to be cheerful about, save Guinness. Deep sorrow and a general distrust of humanity dwells deep in my DNA.

I have five children, ranging in age from 15 - 20, so someone is always mad at me.

My dog just died.

I am Catholic, and while this brings great joy, it also brings great guilt. I feel guilty about everything. Really. I'm pretty sure there was something I could have done to help that poor blind Chinese guy escape to the US sooner. I know that I should have worked harder to master Lego building for my youngest son's sake. And I can't bake very well. Guilty as charged.

Yet, I am working damn hard to be of good cheer. Why? Because (and yes, the irony of this does not escape me), grumpy people tick me off. There is one woman that I frequently ride the bus with in the mornings, and she never misses an opportunity to complain about the driver, the busing system, traffic. Really? You're on the bus for all of ten minutes, and it's a FREE shuttle. Why are you so upset?

Then there's that guy in the pick up truck who inevitably roars past me on the rural road on which I live, flipping me off because I'm only driving 65 miles per hour. Grouch.

But here's the thing. I don't want to be petulant, sulky or complaining. I want to enjoy life. I want to have fun. It just takes so much work! It does not come naturally to me. If I am not careful, I will be the complaining woman on the bus, the person flipping you off in traffic, the woman snarling in the checkout line, the bitter mom belittling her kids constantly, the wife who does nothing but publicly complain about her spouse.

And I don't want to be that person. I am never going to be the carefree spirit who is able to pick up and go on a moment's notice. I'm not going to trip the light fantastic, look on the bright side, let go and let loose, be devil-may-care, see the silver lining or keep my chin up.

But I am gonna be cheerful. Even if it kills me.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…