My eyes, blurry from the festivities of the previous evening, squinted at the blinding light shining through my bedroom window. A faint purring could be heard behind me as my fluffy cat slept peacefully. It's a new year, 2016, and my first thought was of coffee. Once I stirred, BeBe, my newest edition of my furry companion collection, was sitting up starting at me with her crooked marble blue eyes. She no doubt had been waiting all morning for her breakfast and was purring waiting for my two feet to hit the ground.
The plan today was to watch the new year revellers jump into the chilly water for the annual polar bear swim. Then head into the bar and cheer in the new year with my friends. As I sipped my coffee I smiled at the memory of the past 2 weeks off. I focused not on trying to buy the perfect gifts, rushing all over town in a chaotic mess. This year I promised myself it's not about what you give but the giving itself. I have been blessed this year with many great things - new work, new friends, new accomplishments, new confidence - all received most likely from giving more than taking in my life.
Santa may not be a tangible person, sliding down chimneys and leaving gifts for everyone who was good that year, but that giving spirit can be in everyone if they let it. I had a quiet Christmas but ensured I made a visit to the friends working that day, with cute hand made gifts. I had Christmas dinner with a friend who's children and extended family are spread literally all over the world. I played board games with my family on Boxing Day, completely forgetting the need for gifts, laughing until my stomach hurt. I paid for other's bar bills and grocery bills, feeling like Santa Claus every time I gave selflessly. This is what Christmas is all about.
Now, as I sip my coffee, I realize my vacation is almost over and I only have a few days left to enjoy the silence. I watched the hummingbird that practically lives on my balcony, perched in the ficus plant, protecting his feeders from other jewel coloured hummingbird attempting to share the sugary syrup. I enjoyed seeing bald eagles dive for prey, unfortunate ducks plucked from the water, while walking around the seawall. Savoured the delicious sushi I had been missing and the brisk winter air while strolling around Lost Lagoon. It has been a very relaxing, time off from work.
Watching movies from my couch was ideal on this foggy day, which distracted me from my plans. I thought about some resolutions I never make, as the plots of the rom-com movies played out on the screen. The one thing I need to do more than anything this year... make myself available more, especially in the romance department. A friend said to me one day, while we spoke of being alone, that I choose to be single. This is true in some ways, as I have had moments in the last year where I could have turned another corner and romance would be there. I also believe I didn't select that route because I needed to focus on being comfortable with myself. I took offense to this comment in a small way but agreed also. This year will be different.
My phone blinked and the "ding" of the text just received shook me out of my reverie. It was another friend summoning me out as there was an old pal at the bar I needed to see. So I threw on my shoes, wearing a yoga-like sporty outfit, comfy and warm. I walked into the bar where there was the usual suspects with drunken smiles painted on their faces, from the beverages strewn about the bar top. A chair was open, so I sat down sober, compared to the dizzying noise and laughter of the woozy patrons. I looked around for this old friend for whom I was summoned down. He was at the end of the bar and I waved when he glanced around. Immediately he jumped off his stool and walked over to me. We passed the obvious pleasantries, hugging, and shared a few awkward moments of silence and he persisted in the chatter rather than sit back down in his seat. I was pleasantly surprised and realized that this could be a fork in the road with another choice to be made. Which route shall it be?
As the late afternoon turned into evening, I told him we should do this again and he agreed, exchanging mobile numbers. He was taking a cab home (he had moved from the West End to East Vancouver) so I gave him a hug good night. I said I hoped we can do this again soon.
Hopefully this will be a good year.
Happy New Year!