Well, that was a long six weeks. As much as I’d like to think I have it all together, it seems like some old habits die hard. Worrying is my default mode, and it takes a lot of mental energy to get past the darkness that tends to fall over my mind from time to time. This makes sitting down to write kind, loving messages a nearly impossible task. I want to give you fun and practical ideas for living a gentle life, not drone on and on about the black dog that can rear it’s ugly head from time to time.
Things took a turn for the better this week, though. Lee and I spent Thursday morning at Sunnybrook Hospital to get the results of my biopsy. Great news – the cervical cells they removed are only mildly abnormal (kind of like the rest of me) so no scary treatments will be necessary. I have to go back to the clinic every six months for a scope until everything returns to normal, but, hey, no complaints here.
Well, ok, one complaint: I called the clinic on Monday to see if I’d be full-on examined this week or if I’d simply be talking to the doctor (fully dressed, feet flat on the floor). His secretary said “no examination, just a chat”. Imagine my surprise when his nurse handed me a gown and ushered me into a treatment room. Odd that my first thought wasn’t “oh no, this is not good” but rather “are you kidding me? I didn’t wax or shave my legs!”.
I immediately relaxed, however, when the doctor came in excited to talk about his Halloween decorations. Doctors who have to give bad news generally walk in slowly, with their glasses in their hands, and greet you with a simpathetic smile. This guy came in with a big hellloooo and took out his iPhone to show us a videos of his animatronic ghost display. Female friends, if you need a truly compassionate doctor who can work a speculum like butter, call Dr. Michael Shier.
So, back to concentrating on kindness and gentleness. I find Christmas to be the perfect season to exercise my good-deed muscles – so many fun opportunities lie ahead! First on my list is to visit the local nursing homes to get the names of residents who don’t have family, and therefore won’t get many gifts. I try to get some idea of who they are, what hobbies they have and if they have any disabilities. Then it’s off to the local shops. This is a cool twofer – I love supporting the tiny, independent shops in our little town.
I know many families bring out the Elf on the Shelf at Christmas. Not my favourite thing, to be honest. While I love looking at photos of the elves getting into mischief, the message they send bothers me. Seems like the elves can be naughty and get into all kinds of messy situations, but if little Johnny pinches his sister, the elf reports back to Santa Claus.
Kind of a dick move, little elf.
Also not a fan of the whole “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake” lore of Santa. Ideally we’d all try to be good for goodness sake regardless of who is watching – but I’ll get off my high horse now
and just draw your attention to these guys. You can still create all kinds of Christmas fun with them. No judgement, though. You do you, and whatever works, when you have kids. Please share any holiday traditions you and your families have. I’d love to hear them and get inspired by your ideas.