Do you have a favorite pair of Christmas pajamas? Fancy, footed or fabulous – this seasonal attire is something most of us can get solidly behind, right? Maybe you like to get a jump on things by wearing them on the day after Thanksgiving or get the most out of your celebration by wearing them well into the first week of January. That seems totally reasonable and even quite festive.
But my 6YO daughter is a special character in the play of my life. One who plays by her own set of rules. A small example being her public display of Mrs. Claus well into the hot summer months. In Texas no less, where it is known to hit triple digits well before Memorial Day. This matters not to her, she’s the queen of her castle.
On a recent road trip across the featureless dust bowl of west Texas, she took this this nocturnal winter season costuming all the way to the blazing hot desert of New Mexico. We arose early to start the trip.
Surely she will want to change by mid-morning, I thought.
A few hours in and we are in the wind farms of west Texas.
The pajamas remain.
A little while later we stop for a picnic in some place called Seminole.
The pajamas remain.
Then we cross the state line and take an obligatory pose in front of a blazing hot sign in Hobbs, NM.
The pajamas remain.
We arrive to our first destination and hang out for a bit with some skinny wooden aliens.
It’s 105 degrees and the pajamas remain.
I wasn’t sure how much longer she was planning to continue.
Then, in an instant, those Christmas pajamas were tossed aside.
Had the 105 degree heat finally taken its toll? Had she finally realized it was silly to be wearing Christmas pajamas in June? Was she embarrassed to be wearing pajamas in public? No, none of these adult hangups entered her 6YO mind. It was simply time to swim.
Some may say I should have insisted that she put on “real” clothes. Or suggest that I give her too much lead on her rope. Or even that I should be more stern seeing as her appearance is a reflection upon me, right?
She can teach us all a few things. Just like she teaches me each and every day.
Such as if you love something enough, don’t over think why or worry about what others might think. Even if this something is a bit impractical for your current circumstances, you should love it out loud. Wear it. Picnic in it. Pose in it. Celebrate it. Proudly.
Each of us have our beloved Christmas pajamas. The question is – are we willing to take them out and display for all to see in the middle of June? I hope so because when we do, all those standing by and watching will love us even more for it.
I haven’t had much to say recently. Hold on, I should be a bit more accurate, I always have had plenty to say, even if no one wants to hear it. But for the past several months, every time I have gone to the writer’s well, my bucket comes up dry as a bone.
Not even one word.
I suspect this dry spell has a little something to do with a condition called limbo. Not the hyper-bendy dance made fashionable by our friends in Trinidad and Tobago and that I tried to pass off recently as Hawaiian during my daughter’s 6YO luau-themed birthday party. No, it is more akin to the Seussian “Waiting Place.” Not a bad place per se, just a quiet place for regrouping and reconsidering choices and options before heading straight out of town.
Was I waiting on a bus?
Was I waiting for a yes or no?
I have no idea and it doesn’t really matter. It is simply time to go.
What have I learned from my waiting place?
That real life happens in the contradictions. That you are not one thing or another, but both and more. That there are many paths your life can take and not one is the perfect one. That sometimes you have to travel to the moon and back to see what has been sitting right in front of you all along. That sometimes you find yourself playing not to lose rather than playing to win. That a fierceness can be quieted, but not extinguished. That life will inevitably get daily and when it does, you must dig deeper and push harder. That when you come up bone dry, you have to keep taking that trip to the well, because eventually the life-giving water will return.
Today I went back to the well and when I pulled up the bucket, it runneth over with refreshing goodness. I sat under a tree with a stranger and listed three essential values I hold dear. That made all the difference and I made a promise to be true to them now that I see them clearly.
Autonomy. Authenticity. Purpose.
There they are. Pretty simple, right?
Now your turn. What are your essentials? What are those values you cannot bear to ignore?
I’ll let you think that one over. As for me, I am done waiting for the bus, train or a yes/no. I am simply headed straight out of town.
A New Envelope
Spring has arrived
Along with blue skies and new green comes the celebration of 16 years of marriage and steady progress on our new (old) home. One year ago today we decided to cast off the old on our quest for the new. As always, life is a work in progress. Piece by painstaking piece.