Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Perspective with a View

Happy Solstice to all!

I would like to be able to say that these past few days have been relaxing and happy for me, but that would be what I do best--fiction

Lets talk a moment about stress-one of my least favorite things and yet despite my efforts comes knocking on my door about this time of year...
Stress, I've come to realize in the past few weeks, is a matter of perspective.

For example, I have revisions (major) to contend with. On the other other hand, given this shaky economy, I am grateful that I have them as well as future contracts.

My bathrooms are yet uncleaned for guests and the baking is not yet done. But I am grateful to have a warm & comfortable home where family and friends-old and new- can gather together.

One of my teenage twins and I were at odds most of the day yesterday which just put me in a blue funk and last night before bed, he came to me without prodding and apologized, giving me a big hug. I still don't know what was bugging him, but whatever it is/was I am grateful he knows that he, too, can have his "moments" and still be loved unconditionally.


One of my favorite holiday flicks of all time is a Disney movie called "One Magic Christmas" w/ Maryann Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. Here is a movie that puts things into perspective. The woman has no spirit. Financial woes plague them, her husband has lost his job, but thinks the kids deserve a happy Christmas and has dreams of starting up his own bicycle repair shop, she works at a grocery store 24/7,her boss is a tyrant, they have to move from their house by January 1. Ginnie doesn't believe in miracles anymore, nor in the good of mankind. She can't see what she has right in front of her.

As you might imagine, an angel(Gideon, played by a dusty old cowboy, Harry Dean Stanton) is sent to teach her about miracles and gratitude. Where there is gratitude, there is hope, where there is hope, miracles can happen.


I have much yet to do before the first of the year, but last night, wrapped in a warm blanket, in front of a fire, with my hubby and 3 out of 4 of my kids, I was reminded again that a grateful heart is energizing. A grateful heart is content and contentment is a powerful tool in gaining perspective to just about any challenge one faces.

How do you find your perspective during this busy time? Do you do yoga? Is there that favorite movie you have to watch every year? Is there a tradition that, for you and your family, is special to you? Share those with us and from the entries, we will choose one as a winner of a special gift from the Lusty Ladies.

Contest will run from 12/23- 12/31. Winners chosen on 12/31 and announced that day.

From all of us here at the manor, May you have a heart filled with gratutude and a year of contentment and possibility!



Charlotte Featherstone said...

A powerful and uplifting post, Amanda!
Perspective is something I must remind myself of~daily. I tend to throw myself pity parties that leave me feeling small and petulant. I hate feeling unhappy, or sad, or spiteful. So, last year I decided to change my outlook.
This past year I've decided not to worry about the housework (if visitors are truly there to see me and my family they will not care if the place is spotless or not, if they do, then I have decided I do not want their sort in my life)
I have learned to be happy with less, and in truth, it has made me much happier then I was before because the stress of acquiring, and paying for such luxuries is no longer there.
I try to remember that I have health, a good family who also enjoys health and happiness. I have excellent friends, and have made new ones this year.
I try to remember that I am doing a job that I have always dreamed of doing~writing.
Not every day is what I want it to be, but the harder I try, the more it is happening, and the happier and freer I feel.
With this economy, I believe that more and more of us will be putting things into perspective, and learning to be happier with less, perhaps even learning what it means to be happy for the first time, because, lets face it, material items do not bring happiness, it comes from within.

When I feel a disconnect, or stress, I usually stare out the window at the moon. It grounds me, and as a moon child (Cancer) it re-engerizes me and I feel a measure of peace and tranquility and a reconnection to my more positive way of thinking.
It all sounds so very new age, and maybe it is, but since I've decided to not place importance on material possessions, I've turned to other areas of life that bring just as much happiness and gratification. It is, as you say, all a matter of perspective, and as persepective is a personal thing, then everyone will have different outlooks, which makes us uniquely human.

Happy holidays to all of our readers. May peace, health, and happiness be yours this season and through 2009!

flchen1 said...

Thank you for the lovely post, Amanda! I think that reminding myself of how blessed I am helps me to regain perspective--it's easy to get caught up with the little things that are so very urgent when in reality, only a few things/people are truly dear and critical. Spending time with those very dear people and things also helps keep them front and center, especially this time of year :) I don't do yoga, but I find that taking a walk helps clear my head, and praying (or meditating) can also really help refocus my thoughts.

Wishing all of you a warm and joyful Christmas or other celebrations this season!

Amanda McIntyre said...

I have tried yoga, and when I can be alone without cats, dogs and people around it almost works! LOL

My wonderful hubby gave me a wonderful gift this year. Noise-reducing earbuds.

they block out the extraneous sounds. That and unplugging my phone has helped immensely as of late, in getting through edits;)

I trust that Lord CM will be offering up his litany of New Years resolutions this week. I can't wait to see those!

And there is still time to share how YOU de-stress. Really, inquiring minds want to know!!


Jane said...

Great post. I don't do yoga, but I think I should start. Every year I try to catch the 24 hour marathon of "A Christmas Story." This year I only caught a few scenes. It's stressful shopping for others, so I try to buy myself a little something and it lifts my spirits. I also been tempted to try those massage chairs in the mall. Happy New Year.

Amanda McIntyre said...

you know Jane you bring up a valid point, that of taking care of yourself as well.

I think we all forget in the hubub of things to take time to rejuvenate. So often , as women, we sometimes see that being kind tyo yourself thing as selfish, but its not. its important to be kind to yourself as well as others.

and thats not just the holidays , but everyday.

good thought!