Sunday, December 25, 2011

Some Gifts Can't Be Wrapped

Mary and Figaro
Well, its Christmas Day.  Late evening has fallen and temperatures are still fairly warm for this time of year.  Believe it or not, I'm actually thankful today is over.  Too much tension, stress, and add in a hint of dogged tiredness.  Its been a dreadfully long month, maybe too long.  Haven't slept well lately,  and work is picking up.  Ordinarily that's a good thing, but lately its becoming harder to put in those 60 hour weeks.  Some days I can go at it fine, with all the enthusiasm that is needed, but there are days when I wonder if its worth all the headaches, the stress, the sacrifices my family and I make.  Does the net benefit outweigh the cost?  It certainly used to.  In those days maybe 15 years ago, I was grasping for any way to get that invaluable experience, to show those people that I COULD do that job, that I did understand the basic engineering and surveying principles.  That I WAS willing to make those sacrifices, to go that extra mile.  Now I am beginning to question those values, maybe for family reasons, maybe for personal reasons, maybe I need more time away from work, but, then I wake up, snap out of my numbing fog, and rise to my knees to take on more challenges.

Cheyenne smiling deviously!
It was relatively quiet today.  Mary and I woke up a little late.  With all the sleep problems I have had, and her pain level from her knee rising, we slept a little more than late, but after all, it was Christmas day.  Presents were opened, slowly and methodically.  Coffee almost poured into our minds, easing our sleepy minds from the dream world.  I gave my usual "what does Christmas REALLY mean" speech a few days ago, so there was no need to relive that lecture.  We relaxed for a bit, and then I realized two things.  It was after 1 PM by then, and the temperatures outside were well into the 40 plus range.  Plenty warm for.....A ride on my Harley, right?  A quick shower, some clean clothes, and after prodding Jesse to grab a few pics of me in my full Harley garb, I was off to spend some much needed time riding and reflecting.  This month has been fairly warm enough that I can escape for an hour or so on my bike.  2 weeks ago, it was 50 degrees, and I decided to spend 5 hours out on the bike.  That day I was again treated to an up close and personal experience with a bald eagle.  That little guy was close enough to actually look into my eyes.  How cool is that!?

My first Christmas Day Ride!
Riding is a deeply personal and almost religious experience for me.  I've said it many times, that once I get on the scoot, I can release all those stresses, the worries, and the only thing that's left is me.  I can become one with the machine, allow the machine to push all those worldly aches and pains off of me so that I can focus totally on controlling the machine.  This day would be no different, with the exception being that this was Christmas Day.  Pretty cool!  I took a few minutes to visit a new friend before I made my way southward.  Riding can also be a great time to pray, to meditate, as it was today.  Praying for Mary, whose knee surgery should relieve the incredulous pain she is suffering through.  A friend whose health problems have been a source for concern and worry.  Prostate trouble can be devastating to a lot of folks, so I hope that his treatments will cure his ailment.  Another friend who is suffering through some personal issues.  We have leaned on each other a lot this year, and I pray constantly that those problems can somehow find a solution.  Time will tell, but just having such a friend has been a true blessing that cannot be put into words.  I feel truly blessed to have friends, family, health, gainful employment, and the ability to be up and about.  As I rode today, my problems seemed to dissolve into the cool winter air, and  although my legs and body ached a bit from the colder riding, I felt revitalized and refocused, and somehow a bit more relaxed as well,as if my problems had taken a back seat to being at home as a father and husband again.

Jesse pleased about
By the time I had gotten back home, Mary's dinner preparations were almost complete.  A simple smoked ham, with scalloped potatoes and green bean casserole.  A hearty meal to be sure, after cold weather riding.  We gave thanks for our meal, and a simple meal became a blessing as we realized what has been a long and rather difficult year had become a day of thanks and relief.  We counted our blessings and maybe realized we have a lot more to be thankful for than a lot of people in this small world.   We had received many physical gifts this year, but the ones that counted were those you just can't put a price tag on or wrap up.  Mary is slowly regaining some strength, and her back is now pain free.  I have had the ability to spend time actually RIDING my Harley, and not just staring at it in my garage, and just being able to get on a motorcycle is a blessing.  I have more friends this year than most people have gained in a life time.  We have a sense of family, purpose, life, and love in my house, which we have struggled with from time to time.  Indeed - the best presents do not need wrapping, do not need ribbon, or a box.  The best presents are those we have within ourselves that we bless our family and friends with.  The best presents are those you cannot hold, or touch, but you feel them.  The love of your family, the sense of pride at a job well done, sharing some time with a friend or a loved one, even just some encouragement to those that may be struggling with their own problems or shortfalls.

A new friend and fellow Rush fan
As for what's next, I cannot say.  Mary has been scheduled for total knee replacement January 25th.  I can only hope and pray this will move her closer to good health.  We have some time off planned.  A trip tor two on my bike is planned.  Some vacation time in Michigan perhaps.  Who knows, a friend could come calling, or even meet up somewhere.  We have lots of hopes.  Work to be done around the house is always a challenge.  New kitchen cabinets, new shower in the bathroom, challenges that await are always just around the corner, you only need to look.  Not sure how those things will happen, but they give us goals to search out, reach for, and hope for.  This has been a year of struggle, of difficulty, and maybe of searching for those things that seem to be just beyond our reach.  For all the toiling and the worry, however, we came to the realization that we do feel blessed this year, to hold those blessings close, and to try to be just a little more upbeat when the going DOES get tough. 

Figaro guarding the
living room
We hope everyone had a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

Peace and Love Everybody! Lets RIDE!

No comments:

Post a Comment