Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Today was, in a word, interesting.  I spent the entire work day in a training session broken up only by a working lunch and a couple of short breaks to check email and answer the call of nature. 🙂 

After work, Heather and I must have been sharing a brain as we both headed to Costco to get our passport pictures taken (she misplaced her duplicates in the move and needs one to get her name changed).  We wandered around the store while waiting for our pictures to be ready, sampled some blintzes and tamales and just hung out.  It was a very pleasant way to end the work day, although I still had to come home, clean out sandboxes, sweep and take out the trash before I could eat dinner.  But it made for a very productive evening.  I got several more packages wrapped tonight, after vegging for awhile.  I also discovered that it is much easier to wrap packages standing up than sitting down.  I guess I have a better angle when I’m standing.  I’m taking it slow and easy right now, in hopes that I’ll have enough done that I won’t go into panic mode 2 days before Christmas.  I hope to get the suitcases emptied by this weekend so I can take stock and determine what I still need in the way of stocking stuffers.  But even more important, I need to come up with an idea to top last year’s crazy wrapping job.  Heather has come to look forward to it, so I can’t let her down.  I also need to dredge up some ideas for my annual creative writing project, especially now that additional participants have been added to the game.  Hmmmm, as I mentally review the contents of various boxes and bags in my living room, an idea starts to form.  I think I have something new and completely different for this year’s insanity wrap! 

I’m getting such a kick out of reading everyone’s posts about how they decorate and prepare for the holidays.  I’m especially enamored of the unique and personal decorations and celebrations.  I have found that lighting the menorah each night has special significance for me this year, as on most nights, I’m lighting it just for me.  I’m feeling very connected to my ancestors in those moments when I prepare the menorah, light the candles and say the prayer.  It’s very grounding while at the same time, a very spiritual, connected feeling.

The kids are in and out of the house these days, with whispers and secrets the order of the day.  The cats are making themselves at home in my boxes of wrapping materials and bags of gifts so I have to stow things carefully when I stop working for the night.  By now, they’ve all been through my annual wrapping frenzy and should be accustomed to how I turn my living room upside down until all of the packages are safely wrapped.  But because the kids stop by all the time, I have to keep everything stowed in case they come by when I’m not here.  I also tend to wrap later in the evening when I know they’re both safely at home. 

I do believe, though, that instead of buying toys for my furry children this year, I’ll just leave a couple of the packing boxes out.  They seem to get a lot more amusement out of climbing in and out of the boxes, especially if there’s some nice, crinkly paper inside!  It’s nice to know that I can amuse the little darlings so cheaply!

Not a night for profundity, but definitely a night for peaceful contemplation.  And with that and my gratitudes, I shall wander off to slumberland.

My gratitudes for tonight are:
1. I am grateful for an abundance of opportunities, to learn, grow and expand my horizons.
2. I am grateful for family and friends sharing holiday traditions.
3. I am grateful for leftovers on a night when I get home too late to start cooking.
4. I am grateful for increased energy levels which enable me to wrap and write and get things done late at night.
5. I am grateful for kitty cuddles to begin and end my days.

Love and light.

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