You might have heard in this week’s podcast that I’ll forever remember Christmas 2019, the last Christmas of a decade, as the year we lost two children to adulthood. Don’t get me wrong. This is what we are trained to do! The whole purpose of our lives as parents is to raise children to thrive as adults contributing to society, but nobody told me how quiet the house would be.
When they both came home for Thanksgiving, nobody was happier than our youngest daughter, who never wanted to be an only child. For weeks she talked about all the things she’d do “when my sisters get home.” We usually spend the whole weekend watching Christmas movies. That week came and went way too fast. We had to rush and set up the Christmas tree the Friday after Thanksgiving because both girls were headed out on Saturday to go back “home.”
That word – home – has become a relative term. Our house is home, but both of my older girls have places to live, where they keep most of their stuff. Our house is only a place they visit now. It’s weird. If you read my blogs, you know about the one where I talked about driving around town peering into homes lit up with happy families doing things together, and how our house is now the house with the lights on. Still this was the most unusual Christmas.
With the tree we got as far as the lights on Thanksgiving weekend and the tree stayed that way until the girls came home again. I couldn’t summon the urge to decorate the tree by myself. Our youngest had school commitments and final exams. When the girls came back home for Christmas, the tree was still naked. Our eldest finally thread a ribbon through the branches. Instead of Christmas movies, we watched the final trilogy of Star Wars and went to see Episode 9 on Christmas Day. Strange as it was, this new rhythm, I found some comfort in Rey, the orphan girl who was fully grown before she knew she had extraordinary powers.
Bear with me. I’m a 4 on the Enneagram, which means I see meaning in everything. At this time of year, with one whole week left to this decade, I think of how many of us know we have extraordinary powers that we will one day understand. When you think about Christmas and why Jesus came, it’s a good time to remember that all the power of the Universe that Jesus brought to earth is already mine! Whether I’m naughty or nice, there’s nothing I can do to earn more power than I already have, and everything in my life can be used for good
I’m sitting here the day after Christmas looking at the naked tree, thinking about the seven days I have left in this decade to do something extraordinary with my life. After I ship my girls back to work and college, we will settle into a new routine and it’s all good. The tree will come down much faster with no ornaments to remove and I will use the transformation after our most unusual Christmas as a reminder that every new day, every new year bring the opportunity to make it better than the last. I’m going through my own Life Strategy Design Journal to make sure I start the new decade on purpose. Want to join me? I’ve created a version that you can purchase here for less than what you pay for coffee in a month. Let’s do this together!