Practicing Hospitality, Gratefulness and Patience when I’m feeling like a Maxine this Advent Season

I read something this morning about the national pastime of complaining particularly during holidays. It struck a chord. While I may not always complain out loud, I often feel myself tense over small things. It is at those times that I feel like that Hallmark greeting card character Maxine. That I can be cranky is nothing new to my family. My daughter once gave me a doormat for the entrance to our side door. It had a image of Maxine and said ” Welcome to my Home, But don’t touch anything!

At times my house seems to have revolving doors with all the people coming and going. I try to provide a peaceful place, good food, wine and more. I love guests! But I am crabby before my coffee in the morning, don’t want to talk to anyone, don’t want to listen to anyone and don’t like anyone touching my ‘stuff’ particularly in my studio. You can help yourself to my food, clothing, just about anything, but don’t mess with art and work stuff, don’t make a mess, don’t yell and don’t turn on the tv. And if I don’t have enough quiet time to myself… yes… cranky..

Those times when I am not feeling very hospitable to others or even to myself is when I pause to count my blessings.

I am blessed to have family and friends that want to come and spend time with me, in my home, break bread with me, relax and sip some wine with me. Who come for a few days because my house is a peaceful refuge for them. I am grateful that some eat differently than I do or have different spiritual practices than I do, for it allows me to explore new things. And I am grateful for this sacred space that is home.

I am blessed to be able to choose how much or how little I eat or spend. There are many who do not have these choices. I do not need to apologize to anyone for my lack of shopping enjoyment and little gift giving. Nor for the food I choose to eat.

I am blessed for the parties, dinners, festivities and meetings this time of year. It means I am a part of a family or group or community. It means that I have people and places I care about and that care about me. I can choose to go and participate or not..

I am blessed to experience the four seasons… yes a snow storm is predicted and it will probably make travel a bit tricky. But snow can be beautiful, Winter sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous and I love the silence of a starry night when everything is under a blanket of snow. Spring and blooms (yes I know it rains a lot) will come soon enough..

May you find Peace and be showered with Blessings this Advent season.

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