Friday, June 18, 2010
Bitter or Better?
Another rerun post today, but alas, Tom and I are headed out to yard sales again, and well, lately I've been taking my own Bitter or Better review test, so here you go.
And I'm not just talking Christmas cards, either. :)
Sometimes Tom and I have spoken over the phone to old acquaintances and after their dire predictions, lists of complaints and the general gloom they spread, I've looked at Tom and said, "If I ever become like that, you have my permission to shoot me."
Some days I pause and ask myself, "Am I becoming bitter or better?"
This month for example... I know I've become better about receiving Christmas cards. You should have seen me years ago each December.
No, I'm glad you didn't. I mean, I would mail out my Christmas cards (with handwritten notes and tiny surprises) early and then day after day I'd trudge outside into a cold, wintry blast of snow to our mailbox where it seemed, inside, an even icier blast would slap me because there would, generally, be no Christmas cards until, like--can you believe it--three measly days before Christmas.
And because those were the days when I based my happiness upon the mail I received, if my dearest friends signed only their names to the card or sent a long, type-written page of brag--, uhm,memories, well, I'd frown and fume and be totally, totally blown away.
That, my friend, is called becoming bitter. Not better.
But now? Now I'm one happy Christmas camper. I mean, each year I sign-up on two Christmas card exchange lists from my favorite online groups, and those ladies keep the cards coming in a regular flow all month long, giving me my Christmas card fix. Not to mention the cards I receive from other online friends I've made over the years.
As for the simply-signed cards or long-missives-but-no-personal-message from old friends three days before Christmas? Heck, I love them all--now. I've come to realize that people are different... that I need to give them the freedom to be themselves and to do the best they can. And somewhere along the way I even began sending out my own type-written letters and wonder of wonders, I love every similar letter I receive, no matter how long, how braggy or how fine the print (definitely some God-made changes there!).
But the biggest change I've seen in myself is this: When I stopped trying to get from people what only God, Himself, could give me, I began to relax and just accept people as they are. Probably because for the first time, I could finally accept myself as I am since God accepts me as I am, too (something I never quite could believe before).
And now each year I'm accepting December and Christmas, itself, in a whole more kindly manner.
And that is better. Not bitter.