(December 9, 2006)

I mentioned a few posts ago the stress I was feeling connected to Christmas. I honestly didn’t look forward to it. Felt like crawling into a hole and staying there until the season was all over with. But I’ve changed my tune and am now enjoying myself. I had to change my attitude, which I did, though it wasn’t of my own volition this happened. It just did. And I’m thankful for that.

One thing that has helped me is connecting with my blogging buddies. It has been great to read your posts and make comments. And it’s been fulfilling to me to be able to talk with you about things that I find interesting and things that matter a lot to me. My Living Room group has been another source of fulfillment, as have my other friendships.

I know that, if I only have some time every couple of days to sit here at the computer and see how all of you are doing and talk to you in my own posts and in my comments to you, I feel filled up – blessed. It’s relationships, after all, that matter most in life – not stuff.

I will devote myself to relationships and, if there’s room for stuff like baking, decorating, shopping, I’ll fit in the most important of these. If I don’t get everything done, who cares?

I used to do the reverse: tending to the stuff and fitting in relationships when there was room. The stress I felt a while ago was mostly, I think, because I was just thinking too much about stuff.

The love I give and receive feeds me more than anything. Aside from medications, love is what keeps me well and strong. I don’t know what I would do without it. I’d probably be like a cup with nothing inside. I’d be hungry with nothing to fill me up. I’d be cold and not be able to feel warmth.

The relationship that is of utmost importance to me, is my relationship with God. Without Him I could not have the kind of love I give or receive. Knowing how very much He loves me, helps me to love others better. And to keep my relationship with God strong, I need to take lots of quiet time in prayer, reading, and writing.

So I spend some time with God. I spend some time with friends (like all of you). And, the least important thing I do is spend time on stuff. My stress is reduced. And I feel happy.

The question I’m waiting to see answered is whether I can keep this up. Am I going to be able to sidestep the depression I’ve had the last couple of years at Christmas time? I don’t know. But somehow I think I’m on the right track.