I bet as a child growing up you can remember holidays lasting forever and the joy of Christmas fun. In New Zealand the Christmas period is our main summer holiday and we didn’t go back to school until February. Now as an adult, every day, including a holiday, seems to speed by. A day is gone in a flash and it’s so important, given every moment that passes us has gone and that that moment will never occur again, to really cherish each and every second as much as we possibly can.
Cherishing such moments can be difficult especially during busy times. I have been observing in London the Christmas mayhem as people fight their way through traffic and crowds. Tolerances are low and irritations are high. But you know, each one of us has a choice. We can choose to get caught up in the drama and be impatient or we can choose to be the observer of the mayhem around us and respond to situations and people from a place of non-judgmental awareness. When it’s the latter, it takes the sting out of it and makes it much less personal.
I had such an experience today. I was trying to park and on two separate occasions drivers behind me wouldn’t give me space to park. I could have responded by getting really angry and irritated, or even worse, staying angry and irritated as I searched for another park. Instead, I chose to let it go, with an open mind that perhaps they were being stretched given the busyness of Christmas. Behaving like this is a new experience for me as previously I would get really uptight and annoyed. Now however I seem to be a lot more chilled and relaxed, and I put this change all down to a daily mindfulness practice.
Once I had found a parking space, the parking meter wouldn’t work – another event which could have left me fuming. As I walked down the street (by this time I was getting really late for my appointment) I noticed a big Christmas parcel lying on the road, directly in front of me. My immediate thought was given someone had dropped it, even though I was late, I would have to try to deliver the parcel to its rightful owner. I couldn’t just walk on by pretending it wasn’t there.
As I got nearer to this beautifully wrapped parcel I noticed it had a big tag on the front saying “To You, Love Santa”. As I reached down, the parcel suddenly came to life and shot off down the street, at which point I screamed and jumped about 10 foot in the air! On hearing peels of laughter, I looked around and above me a group of guys hanging out of a window laughing, yelled out “Merry Christmas.” One of the guys had a video and another had a hand held remote control. Now this is the sort of Christmas I like! Good, old fashioned silly Christmas fun. It put a huge smile on my face and made my day.
I wondered if I would laughed as much as I did if I had been angry over my earlier parking escapades?
As it happened, I made my appointment in time with a big happy smile on my face, cherishing the prank that had just played on me. I know too that my reactions and subsequent amusement at the guys also put happy smiles on their faces.
So in amongst this Christmas rush, remember you have a choice whether to respond or react. And if you feel like having a bit of Christmas fun, it might just make someone’s day.
Thank you for all your support in 2012. I wish you a really ‘happy’ Christmas and I look forward to sharing more happy times with you in 2013.
Love Anne xx