We had our first snowfall the other day. Fat flakes plopped down, stuck to tree branches, and covered the ground in ultra white. Beautiful!
When I was a kid, a blanket of snow by early November was a given. It helped to set the mood; it prepared the mind and spirit for the upcoming holidays. Over the past few years, luck played a major part in determining whether or not any frozen precipitation fell by Christmas. I must say its absence has contributed to my lack of awareness of the season. For the past three years in particular, balmy temperatures, lack of snow, and the frenzied pace of residency blocked me from remembering how special this time of year is. Not to mention the fact that I’m a “late shopper” and I hate crowds. Trust me, it doesn’t add any appeal to the holiday season. Yes, I’m disillusioned with commercialism in general.
So, I’m taking the time out to stop hovering about my busy schedule. It’s important to remember why I put up a Christmas tree, why I buy presents for my family/friends, why I go to church on Christmas Eve. It’s not about objects, gifts, new gadgets, and white-knuckling it through yet another wonky holiday dinner with…well, I won’t get into the details here, but suffice it to say I look forward to January 1 for somewhat different reasons than many.
In church yesterday, Pastor spoke of bringing light to the world. He explained how people in the Middle Ages would put a burning candle in their window to symbolize their Christian roots and declare they were a light in the darkness. There isn’t the time or the space to recreate his entire sermon, but he implored us to figure out ways to let our own light shine. It was inspiring and I am encouraged to share my blessings even more.
Here’s a problem. I work in a field where disclosing personal information can get sticky. In psychiatry, the psychiatrist is supposed to be a “blank slate.” I’ve spoken of this before in an earlier post, but it allows the patient to focus more on themselves, which is the reason they’re there in the first place. If someone came to my office for help and all I did was talk about myself, well, that wouldn’t be very helpful. (Okay, dead horse sufficiently beaten.) Now, I spend 50-60 hours a week at work (sometimes more, sometimes less). It’s a great opportunity to shine my light. So, how do I do it? I have a few ideas and have implemented some (small gifts, donation, engaging in random acts of kindness), but I’m left wondering: Can I do more?
The resounding answer is: Yes. I’m just no sure how to do it.