I hope you had a sweet, memorable Christmas, filled with moments you hold onto forever. I enjoyed many this year, which made me even more thankful for my family. But there was one moment which stood out, because it’s proof that no matter how well you think you’re doing in the self-esteem department, you always have more work to do.
As you know, my family brought me home to Pennsylvania for Christmas. No matter how long I live in California, Pennsylvania still feels like home to me and always will. My daughter was off with her boyfriend’s family in Mexico and my son spent Christmas with my ex and family, so it was wonderful to be able to go back. I’m very lucky to have such generous siblings.
Thank God, I was able to help my sister-in-law, Patty. She’s been hobbling around on one foot since she fractured her ankle about a month ago.
Patty never sits down. Even with a broken ankle, she had a little scooter she propped her foot on and sped around like a holiday ninja. I was so glad to be able to run up and down the stairs and help her put the finishing touches on decorations. It feels nice to be needed because apparently that’s partly why I was born.
My mom told me that, with my siblings in school all day, she was lonely. She told my dad she wanted to have one more child to keep her company and help her. (I would love to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.) I don’t think he was entirely on board with the whole idea, but clearly, she won.
So, I came into the world to hang with my mom and be a helper, which is why this Christmas felt right. It was like all my childhood Christmases with my family.
I was always the designated runner. “Frenzy honey, go dahn a stairs anna getta me da (fill in the blank). Or Frenzy honey, go uppa stairs anna getta me da…you get the idea. One Christmas when I was five or six, I was the designated finger holder on bows my family was tying on gifts. I remember Andy Williams’ holiday album playing in the background as I raced back and forth from bedroom to bedroom placing my tiny finger on ribbon. I was thrilled to do it because I had a purpose.
So, this year, I gave Patty’s crutches a short rest by running up and down, helping Patty as much as I could. And again, it felt good because it always feels right for me to be the helper.
Then, just before everyone arrived on Christmas Eve, I was walking around the house, to make sure things were in order. I marveled at how exquisite it all looked. The burgundy and silver ornaments were shining on the table alongside the Christmas plates, and the beautifully decorated tree looked stunning. I caught myself saying out loud, “Wow, this looks so elegant, I feel like I don’t belong here.”
See? No matter how much I work on it, I always seem to go back to that feeling. (It took me years to get over feeling bad for the girls who gave me pedicures.) All the self-help books say you won’t get anywhere with an attitude like that.
My brother came along right then, made some funny crack and we moved on, but that moment made me realize I have lots more work to do because, although I love being helpful, I want to feel, deep down, like I deserve the beauty too.
I know lots of people just like me. Maybe some of you are reading this blog and saying, “Yeah, I know that feeling!”
Let’s make it our resolution for 2016 to feel like we too deserve all the lovely, gorgeous things the world has to offer.
May 2016 bring you the best in life, which you so richly deserve.
Happy New Year!