I always go through a bit of a self-help phase around Christmas/New Year, and this year is no different. On a recommendation from a client, I’m just about to start reading the brilliantly titled The Universe Has Your Back, which will apparently help me ‘release the blocks’ to what I most long for in life (Cheese? The ability to drink caffeine again? An actual pension?). Not only that, it will help me ‘relinquish the need for control’. Though, whether it will help me relinquish my need for control more than living in Bulgaria has done – where things are permanently out of my control and I rarely have any clue what’s going on – remains to be seen.
I can’t wait. I’m going to grow so much over Christmas. Like, spiritually. Not in girth. Or, at least, not just in girth.
I’m trying to be a lot more grateful and joyful lately, even when it feels like the universe is poking me in the eye with a stick. Barney the Terrible has been missing for four weeks, presumed dead (and now posthumously renamed Saint Barney the Beautiful). But I’m so grateful he appeared in our garden back in 2014 as a tiny, skanky, 900g kitten (and most of that was his silly big ears and ringworm). I’m glad he chose us. I’m even grateful for the ringworm, which was, after all, good blog fodder.
I’m grateful for friends and family, even when they are a plane ride away. I’m proud of our home and get so much joy from our life here. I’m glad Rob and I can still laugh at crazy shit together. And I’m grateful for every day I have woken up this week to sunshine and NO SNOW.
So, I’m feeling warm and groovy (and I haven’t even had a gin yet today) as I wind down for the Christmas break. Christmas is not a very big deal here in Bulgaria, at least not on the circus-nightmare scale of back home. Most people we know just have the one or two days off (if that), presents are minimal and few people go to town decorating their houses. The shop opposite opens all day on Christmas day, the buses still run through the village, and we’ll still be expected next door for coffee at 9.30am. After that, the day is ours to cook an immense meal and get slowly sozzled as the ETA for dinner glides from 2pm to 3pm to 4pm. We don’t do gifts for each other – instead, we treat ourselves to a bottle of fancy bubbly that we wouldn’t usually buy and *try* to wait until midday to open it. We Skype with family. We’ll probably watch It’s a Wonderful Life, again. And I’ll probably be tucked up in bed by 9pm … with my copy of The Universe Has Your Back. Growing.
Happy Christmas, dear reader. Весела Коледа и Честита Нова Година!