I am sitting in the snug taking stock online. Christmas. Is everything ready? All the preparations done? I Tree decorated? Tick. Food in fridge? Tick. Presents wrapped? Tick. Beds ready for guests? Yes, the mental check list seems alright. Put your right hand in the air. Ready? High five that.
There’s a lot of energy expended in preparing for Christmas. For just a day. The thing I always dread is the buying of presents. It’s not the spending of the money that is an issue. I’d give everyone Amazon tokens but that just doesn’t seem right. It reflects a lack of thought and, maybe a little desperation. It’s the knowing what to give everyone. I would hate to give a gift for the sake of it, because I felt I had to.
So I spend the early part of December walking the shops of Cambridge waiting, hoping, for an epiphany. Praying: “Oh God, if you ever helped anyone, anytime, now’s the moment”. And reminding the divine that it was a holy agent who kicked all of this off. Gabriel! Surely there is divine responsibility to dispatch inspiration. Send the archangel. Gabriel, I’ll buy the coffee, you compile the list. It’s a good deal? Apparently not.
But I got there, with a little help from more mortal beings. Then, Pogue, when I had just finished you decided to publish a Christmas list! I read it with more awe than had the angel come. Thoughts like; “really” and “dream on” populated my mind. Needless to say you will not be getting anything from your list.
Anyway, as said, all is ready. Here I am allowing myself moments of reflection which is somewhat appropriate for this time of year. New beginnings, hope. God, the divine invader breaking into our space to change everything. The challenge that this brings to each and everyone of us. So, reflection is appropriate, and I have a challenge for you, and for anyone who you share this letter with.
Do the reflective thing and ask yourself: “If I was to write a letter to my younger self, what would I say?”
Retrospect is supposedly a wonderful thing. But think. Don’t rush this. Really think this thing through. Then respond. I’m going to do the same. As the daylight fades and the air grows cold I’m going to light the fire, maybe pour a good drink and sit quietly, peering into the flames. As with my present buying I may find I am once again waiting for inspiration. But it will come. And I will turn it in my mind. Interrogate it. Understand it. Understand why I would counsel myself that all those years ago. Ask if I should really change that? To what ends?
I suspect even though you will find yourself addressing times, events, maybe relationships, behaviours, discussions, all these long passed, you may find you can effect your own present and change your future. But you will have to go deep into this. There may even be some healing which a friend of mine found when she started counselling her younger self.
We’ll pick this up in the next letter and see how we are doing.
Yours, off to light the fire,