Christmas Future-Christmas Trilogy 3

imagesIn 12-step recovery programs, we are taught not to think about tomorrow.  Slogans like “one day at a time” or  “just today” are drummed into our brain.  Another one that I hate is, “if you have one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday, you are pissing all over today.”  That one just never made any sense to me.   I understand and acknowledge the wisdom in “one day at a time” in dealing with alcohol and drugs.  There were many times in my recovery that it was one hour, one minute, or one second at a time.

However, in the real world that slogan doesn’t work.  If I truly lived “one day at a time”, I would get my paycheck and buy a new big screen TV or book a mountain cabin for a week, ignoring the reality that in two weeks I have to pay rent and make a car payment.  I also believe that dreams of the future are a motivation to do well today.

When I decided to write about Christmas future, I had to think about what I would really like to see.  So here is a brief glimpse of some future Christmases…

In a couple of years, I will  have friends and family surrounding me as I prepare to graduate from the College of Charleston.

Not long after I finish my MFA, Oprah will choose my newly published best selling book as the gift to give for Christmas.

I will visit my great grandchildren who are the most beautiful and amazing children ever to be born.  I will, of course, be visiting my children and grand children as well, but we all know it will be the great grands that take center stage.

The day after Christmas, I will visit the Culpeppers (Either in Charleston or within a 4 hour drive  🙂 ) and the next week I will go to Baltimore and New York to visit my brother and some other friends as I begin my book tour.

I won’t miss my mother, my best friend-JanF, my Mama Pearl, or any of the other friends/family who have passed away nearly as much as I do now. (OK, that one isn’t really going to happen.)

I will notice that as I grow older, I learn more about the gift of Jesus and the joy of celebrating Christmas.  I might just become “Jesusy” as Anne Lamott says.

I spent a great deal of life dreading the future and believing that nothing good would ever happen to me.  I was always waiting for the next bad thing.  I have learned that the next bad thing is going to happen no matter what; it happens to everyone.  It’s called life.  I have also learned that the next amazing thing is going to  happen as well. Sometimes, the next amazing thing comes as a result of that next bad thing that happened.

Anne Lamott said in one of her blog posts, ” We religious nuts say, ‘I no longer know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future’.”   Of course, I can’t really predict the future, but I can dream.  I no longer see my future thought the eyes of nightmares.  So, I will continue to dream about my future Christmases celebrating the birth of the One who holds the future.

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