Advent – Catch Up!

In the spirit of “progress, not perfection,” I’ve missed the last few days of this blog. The combination of the end of the semester (madness, I tell you!) and an out-of-town visit to do some Grown-Up Stuff will have that effect and I’m rather proud of myself for not getting all “tore out of frame,” as one of my friends would colorfully put it.

So a quick catch-up is in order. I’m doing well with setting aside a few minutes in the morning for coffee and meditation through the Shine app.  I can’t truly claim that those 5 – 6 minutes always make me stop and carefully consider my next move throughout the day, but I do think it’s doing me some serious good and causing me absolutely no harm.

I’m also continuing to take a few minutes every day to do a quick (10-minute or so) French lesson through Rosetta Stone. I’m in a heavy grammar section now and I find myself having to re-do a section before I get enough right to “pass” to the next lesson. I’m better at reading the language – which is common. When you can SEE the words, it’s easier. I just have to keep slogging away; it’ll eventually smooth out. It always has.

In the food box, I’ve added canned tomatoes, tuna fish, and a cake mix. (No fair only having staples, you know? Everybody needs cake sometimes.) So I’m totally on track with that, and I like that. I’ve been doing this for just over a week and the box is really starting to fill up by now. Knowing where I’m going to take it also helps – my community has just started a series of Little Free Pantries, but I’m SURE that it would take no time at all to find a suitable food pantry or food bank in your community. Sadly, the need for these is all too common.

Doing something Christmas-y has been easy and – seriously – I’ve done some things I’ve never done before because of this. Saturday, I went to my college for a “lessons & carols” concert of readings and choral music and also met a friend for coffee. We went to the concert together and also enjoyed seeing the luminaries that line the streets of the historic district and the campus. They give off a soft, lovely glow on a cold winter’s night.

Showmanship, baby!

Sunday, I went to visit my parents and my mom and I went to see the Raleigh Ringers, a community handbell group that takes what you think of as handbell music and elevates it to the stratosphere! The group has been around for 30 years and they understand the value of hard work, coupled with just a dash of showmanship. (Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” – ’nuff said!) Most of their selections were holiday-themed, but they went beyond the traditional (beautiful as those were) to include Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” (a favorite of mine) and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.” Then today, I helped trim candles for the Christmas Eve service that will be held at my childhood church. 17 of us trimmed 300 candles with gorgeous purple crepe paper ruffs in about two hours. I’d never done that before and I must admit that the finished candle trays were just gorgeous.

My Reverse Advent Calendar “kindness assignments” went well, although I’m giving myself an extra day on today’s (I’ll double up tomorrow – it was a busy day, then there was the drive home.) I gathered razors for a rest home my church adopted for the holidays and told a joke to my dad (he’s a funny guy, so when my jokes make him laugh, I’m pretty sure I scored!) I took a few minutes out of a crazy-busy day today to wander through an old-fashioned candy store and yes, bought a few things. I worked hard to be kind and helpful to people who crossed my path in the last few days.

The one category I’m consistently falling down on is the “creative movement” one – again, this is just an insanely busy time and much of my daily work involves a computer screen and a keyboard. We’re also having a few days of cold, raw, dreary weather and that doesn’t make it any easier. But I’ve got a plan!

How’s YOUR Advent Adventure going?

 

 

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