Give Me Beauty (or give me dust)

Today I am focusing on beauty instead of guilt.

Oh, the guilt is still there — in the thick dust on the shelf in my bedroom, the clutter of Christmas remaining here-there-and-everywhere — but I am choosing to focus instead on beauty.


There is beauty in the brilliant sunny morning. Our well-below freezing temperatures insure that the snow and ice are here to stay for a while, and the sun shining in a pale blue sky glints brightly off every surface touched with white (even if that white comes from dust). The red glass and crystal amongst the green cacti may no longer be seasonal but I still find it mildly cheering.

DSCN8671 Christmas cards and coffee

There is beauty sipping coffee from a cup gifted to me [years ago] by a young son. There is beauty in the opportunity to open and read Christmas cards from friends and family far away.

Our mailman finishes his daily route in our neighborhood after dark this time of year. He rushes to the doorway and I hear the clatter of the metal lid against the brick as he delivers junk mail, catalogs, bills, and those precious cards and letters. He rushes off to the next house yet we rarely match his hurry to see what he has brought, for it is the height of dinner preparation and all hands are busy.

But now — now it is the quiet morning, with children off to school. Christmas ticks slowly away here on day number 9 of twelve. There are no gifts to be wrapped (or made!) and the final stamps were affixed to envelopes last night for my own Christmas greetings. I prefer to not think of them as belated until those 12 drummers have finished their drumming. Now I can sit quietly and read each card and letter sent by friends and think about each one, wishing we were together sharing our news in person. I nod empathetically as I read about one friend’s move last spring, the farewells and new beginnings all too familiar to me. I smile with delight over the “Happy Thanksgiving” card sent at Christmas by an older friend, who knew what she was doing but sent it anyway rather than not send a card at all. Oh, how I love her! And those precious smiles on the faces of my grand-nieces…

decorated by boys (note the angel facing the tree)

decorated by boys  (note the angel facing the tree)

Yes, I choose beauty this morning over guilt.

I only wish that I had been able to do that a few weeks ago, when the cards were arriving daily, when I focused instead of the hurry, hurry, hurry of getting the sewing done and the decorations hung, strung, and placed (most of them by someone else).

And even now, when I am about to elevate my foot yet again (I have to do it to keep the pain and swelling down still at 5 weeks post-op) I will attempt to enjoy the Christmas tree in my living room. Oh, it mocked me yesterday — mocked me to tears of frustration over its mere presence — which is almost humorous since I normally keep it up until Epiphany. I had to stop reading** what others were saying in blogs and on facebook about how their Christmas decorations were put away and houses back to a state of clean and clear of clutter.

But TODAY! Today I am choosing to focus on beauty. So I will admire those decorations created by my children when they were younger. I will appreciate the glinting of sunlight on the coloured glass balls. I only see these things for a few weeks out of every year, so I want to take joy in their presence.

Yes.  There is beauty everywhere, and today I choose to notice, appreciate, and enjoy it.


**This will also explain why there are currently 242 unread blog posts in my Reader. Two hundred and forty-two! Say that aloud in the voice of Toula from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
I just did. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Give Me Beauty (or give me dust)

  1. It is always a good trick to be able to appreciate what we have, rather than be frustrated by what we don’t (or can’t do). I’m glad you’re able to take today to enjoy the beauty.

    My parent’s tree always stayed up until the Ephipany (I grew up Catholic) and even though they wouldn’t really call themselves Christian anymore, my mom loves her tree too much to let it come down before the 12th day of Christmas. So as far as I’m concerned, you’re in good company 🙂

  2. My tree is still up. I was going to take it down this week but my cat Gus likes to sleep under it and he looks so cute…at least that’s my reason for today. I’ll probably start taking it down tomorrow but it was such a pretty tree I don’t mind having a few extra days. Plus, I’m in a crabby mood and the tree helps that a bit.

  3. thanks to the New Year being a big holiday here, our outside lights were brought back in on the 31st as the tree was coming down….but the last of it all was put away today. well…..not exactly the last…there is one decoration i forgot…i think i’ll leave it for awhile, until someone else notices.
    by the way…between you and SmallTownMe, i have 36 unread blogposts. i’ll get to them…soon…

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