Thursday, December 29, 2005

Reflections

I haven't had this blog for very long, and yet it's that time of year when we look back, review what's gone on in the past and make predictions or wishes for the future. There are a lot of these things going on in magazines, television news shows, etc. so I'll keep mine limited to things I've talked about here in the blog.

First we had the judicial council decisions - the event that stirred me enough to begin this blog in the first place. Looking back a couple of months, I admit that I'm not as passionate as I was when I first read the decisions and began writing here, BUT I'm still ticked off enough to wonder if/when something is going to happen from the judicial council or any major body of the United Methodist Church outside of the letter the Council of Bishops wrote immediately following the decisions. It's been months and there have been hundreds, even thousands of United Methodists writing letters, signing online and handwritten petitions, and in general having conversation about what should happen or what needs to happen. Have these conversations had any effect outside of the local church level?? I haven't heard anything especially encouraging, but I also know that the process is usually a slow one and we'll likely have to wait for General Conference 2008 to truly experience the fall out from this one...

Thanksgiving was an interesting experience for me ths year - I cooked a turkey and ate dinner with staff at a local hospital, most of whom I didn't really know. Yes, my partner was among them, so it wasn't like I had no business being there, but it was a very different picture from the Norman Rockwell image that several local grocery stores have been selling the past couple of months. I used to dispatch and take 911 calls for a metro area city (police, fire and EMS were all dispatched from the same room, also where all the 911 calls were answered by those same three dispatchers) so I know what it's like to "get stuck" working on a holiday when it seems like the rest of the world is having the huge dinner with all the family members. Some people remember the police officers or firefighters, but how many think of the dispatchers or the people cooking in the hospital cafeteria? While next year's Thanksgiving will not be at the hospital (she'll be working Christmas next year), I hope that I remember to thank and acknowledge some other people who will have to working that day.

Christmas has just passed, and I'll be honest - I'm still not done giving or receiving presents. As much as I dislike the consumerism of the holiday, I admittedly take part in it. I know some people felt I was a little harsh in my comments, and while that may be so, please don't think that I'm advocating giving up on it all together. I just hope to make people think about why we do things and perhaps become a little more mindful about the people around us. We shouldn't spend money we don't have to try to tell people things we should be telling them all year anyway. We shouldn't get sucked into buying a certain item just because it's "the" thing to give this year. It's entirely possible that we shouldn't be giving more "stuff" anyway - how many of us really need more stuff to display in our homes or store in the basement/attic? I love when people donate to organizations that I support in my honor for the holidays (some of my favorites include Habitat for Humanity, Heiffer International, CoopAmerica, and UMCOR). I did that for a few people on my list this year, and hope people will do it for me more in the future. It says that you know them enough to know which causes are important to them and love them enough to support it for them, yet it doesn't require space to store or contribute to landfills (if you just write it in a card, the paper can be recycled). I know, I know, it's not as much fun to open a bunch of cards as it is a box of clothes or candy, but come one - how many orange sweaters or pooping penguin candy dispensers does a girl need? (Love ya, honey!)

So now we're at New Year's Eve, getting ready to begin 2006. I have no idea what I'm going to do for "the big night," especially since someone has to work the next morning at 7 am (which suggests no champagne toast at midnight even IF we happen to be awake at the magic hour). Drinking alcohol and watching Dick Clark on tv have been what I experience in some form or another on most every New Year's of my life (I turned 30 years old this year - Dick Clark's been doing this longer than that!) but I don't think I'm going to miss it this year. Perhaps it's because I'm getting "older" (I use the term loosely since most of my seminary colleagues and relatives laugh at how young I am), but those things just don't seem to be a big deal anymore. I've been drunk and watched other people be drunk - neither is especially entertaining at this point. Dick Clark is coming back after being absent last year for a stroke, but I didn't miss him last year. I don't think I really watched tv last year until Conan O'Brien came on, and since New Year's Eve is Saturday, my only hope is Saturday Night Live which will either not be shown at all or will be a repeat. Oh well. Watching a movie and going to bed early will be such a special treat for me, it actually sounds like the best option for this year. However you choose to spend it, please be careful of other people and stay safe. May all your hopes and dreams (whether for yourself, your family & friends, your church, your country or the world) work toward becoming a reality this coming year....

2 comments:

Kim in KCK said...

Happy New Year, friend. May your year be blessed. Have wonderful night and get some sleep while you can. January (Are you taking any classes?) is coming. :-)

Kim

hipchickmamma said...

i'm so glad i've gotten to know you in 2005. and i love reading this blog!

happy new year! i look forward to our LA adventure!