(Late) Christmas Greetings & Loot Lists

It’s hard to believe that Christmas 2010 has already come and gone. It seems like no more than a few yesterdays ago that the year was just beginning, a brand new thing replete with all the hope and good cheer of a renewed focus on my marriage, a reunion with my best friend, and a flurry of study surrounding the Japanese language that had replaced nearly all of my other hobbies.

And here we are at the end of the year. I find myself divorced, separated both literally and figuratively from some of the people that I love most, potentially upon the verge of making a move to another state in a desperate bid to keep myself financially viable after quitting my day job, and I haven’t studied Japanese since February.

Sure didn’t see that coming.

But while this has been without doubt the worst, most difficult year of my entire life, it has also contained some of the greatest blessings and happiest moments that I have known. I do my best to look at them and think: yes, while the difficulties mar the simple sweetness of those moments, at least I was able to have them. It could have been nearly the same year but without those memories to carry back from the brink. I did come close enough to the edge to peer over and see the vast expanse I might have fallen into, but I’m still vertical, still on solid ground, and at least the life that I lived near the precipice was one worth living, a season of my life that I would trade for nothing. And hey, I got much of what I wanted for Christmas, plus a lot of other very thoughtful gifts, including a stack of beautiful books that reaches several feet into the air, the 2010 anthology of Best American Comics, my personal Holy Grail: copy 257 of the extremely limited, entirely too expensive first and only edition of Melinda by author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dagmara Matuszak (when this actually shows up in the mail you may rest assured there will be a joyful and disgustingly self-indulgent post about it here, likely with pictures), and an ungodly pile of coffee and tea that should keep me caffeinated enough to work well into the wee hours during the long nights ahead.

So merry Christmas, everyone.  The world be what it may, give thanks in your heart to God for the many gifts you’re lucky enough to have.  Gratitude isn’t always easy, especially in the face of loss, but it makes the 2nd turkey leg, 3rd piece of pie, and 133rd cup of coffee go down a whole lot easier. Trust me on this one.

[This post originally appeared at theflyingmonkeyapparatus.com.]

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