When's the last time you've been outright "giddy" over something? I think, for me, it was anticipating Disneyworld (or while actually on vacation there). Usually, this time of year begins to evoke those feelings - culminating as Christmas comes closer and closer until they rise in a crescendo and then plummet once I hit January. =(
While I've had little moments here and there (like smelling the Yankee Autumn Leaves car freshener, or seeing the house decorated for "harvest", or even walking in to Autzen Stadium for a home football game....), I feel like those moments have been all too brief, and not quite the sort of "euphoria" I've had in the past. I usually LOVE this time of year, what's my problem?
Today, I took some time to analyze myself and try to figure out what indeed is my problem....(Lisa Q. was on hand during some of the self-questioning as well). Here's some of what might be holding me back:
1. My disappointment in myself for allowing myself to gain as much weight as I did during August. After having been following all of the "rules" to appropriate weight-loss eating for the last several weeks, and exercising a lot, I haven't seen the scale drop the numbers near as fast I'd hoped. I recognize that having fun in life for me involves eating fun food, so there has to be a time and a place for that, even if it is just at certain special times. But, I need to also recognize that once I allow for that "no holding back" occasion, I don't need to go quite as "hog wild" as I tend to do. "Seriously, Steph, you will see chocolate chip mint ice cream again in your lifetime, you don't need to have it for lunch AND dinner!"
2. In correlation to #1, now is not the time that I'm having fun indulging (but that is pretty normal, so I can't see that being a major culprit in keeping me from being happy this time of year).
3. Unease about the economy - and my own efforts to try to contribute.....which haven't been all too successful.
4. The ever-present realization that I'm getting older. The three dominate "pain wrinkles" between my eyebrows (I call them this, because they are most obvious in the morning, after nights in which - out of my control - I tend to tense my face in response to sleeping with a bit of discomfort....so not fair, I can't prevent myself from doing that while I'm sleeping!). Or, the body that isn't as responsive as it used to be.
5. And, along with #4, the fact that my kids are getting older. And, along with that, the heightened worries on their behalf - and even wondering if some of the holiday "magic" and "traditions" are no longer as special to them. They would vehemently tell me otherwise at this point (Brayden, in response to asking if he's too old for the Christmas Countdown Calendar told me, "Never, not even when I'm 85 years old and in a grave!"). It just feels like everything is so much more "serious" with the kids these days - school, sports, etc..... Fortunately, when the kids are removed from all of this, they still are just as enthusiastic as ever.....but, maybe it's my concern that it's only a matter of time....
So, really, if it is just a matter of time, why am I wasting "right now"? The Bible Study book we are using seems as if it was written for me right now, emphasizing God confidence, vs. self-confidence. While what I'm describing isn't necessarily a lack of "confidence" (nor is it anxiety or depression, for the record) - I think the truths of relying on the Lord through all of this apply nonetheless. And, ultimately, if I weren't so caught up in my own disappointments or concerns, I think God would love to bless me with moments where I see his splendor in the crisp autumn mornings, or the kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows in the falling leaves, and yes, even the excitement in the kids as they anticipate what they want to wear for Halloween. Get over it, Steph.....choose contentment, and then, as you do, expect the moments of "giddy" to follow.