Wednesday, December 24, 2014

40 Days of Gratitude: Day 33

I am thankful for the first ornament gift I received since starting over.  Thanks, Bob and Angie
I am thankful for the gift of shinny Christmas apples.  Yummy.  Thanks, Celeste.

Today started with me dreading the Christmas Eve service at church.  I'd actually been dreading it for a while.  Last week, I tried to worm my way out of it, but our Worship Pastor wasn't going for it.  After that, my plan was to do my duty and play, become as invisible as possible, go home, say hi to all my roommate's family who are at the house, go in my room, and go to bed.  I'd even planned to refuse communion (Eucharist).  I wasn't trying to prove a point, or wage a protest, or garner sympathy, or draw attention to myself; I simply knew my heart wasn't right.  My heart was too heavy.

Look, I know that Christmas is about family--and rightly so--but I didn't know where to fit.  I'm not used to being wanted and included.  Sorry, it's been my experience since childhood, and yes, I'm sick of it too.  Unlike then, now I will not push for inclusion; that garners pity and resentment rather than love.  In other words, I know it ain't about me.

On top of not being in the best of mental states. the migraine-like tendrils of a post-menstrual headache set up shop around my right eye.  Thanks, Mother Nature, can I choke slam you now?  I did have enough sense to stop in the church parking lot and have a talk with the Lord about all this before I went inside.  I really didn't want to take the black exclamation point above my head into this celebration.

It tried to follow me anyway...

Not only am I late but when I sat down to play, I found out the hard way that one of my strings was more than 1/2 step WAY out of tune.  It was so bad it would have made baby Jesus cry and the heavenly host throw tomatoes.  Tune-as-you-go time.  That's what I get for being late.

On top of that, Christmas carols are notorious for having eight cords to the word. Look, I can't explain how I can play such complex improvisational runs all year long, but putting Christmas music in front of me turns me into a deer in headlights.

Anyway, I can never stay sad very long when I'm around other musicians and singers--we're all too silly; me being the worst of the lot.  It wasn't long before we were all laughing.

After the carols, Pastor Derek gave a brief message on the Christmas story.  I spent most of it praying about communion.  I asked God to help me get myself together enough to join in family Eucharist.  He did, and it was wonderful, and yes, I did get all tore up about it as usual.

The service in itself was plenty to be thankful for, but afterwards, a family invited me over to their home for dinner.  I had a great time.  Even though my headache didn't go away, I still drove home with a smile on my face.

And two Excedrin tablets later...with visions of fried chicken dancing in my head, good night y'all.

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