Although you may think the title is referring to Christmas, it really isn't. It's referring to what I have started to feel lately. I realized the other day that my shoulders aren't as tight, I'm getting fewer and less intense headaches, I'm laughing more and smile at everyone I see, I'm not as uncomfortable in public as I used to be. I have true JOY!!! It's more than just happiness. It's the realization that maybe school was stressing me out WAAAAAAAY more than I thought it was. It's the realization that I have lived and still live an amazing life. It's the realization that life is what you make it and I want to make mine happy. I'm not stressed out because there's not school work waiting on my desk for me. I can read magazines all day and not feel guilty. I can take naps and not worry about it (it's like my body has years of sleep to catch up on). I can go birdwatching and not feel like my dissertation proposal is breathing down my neck. And so I did.
We have had beautiful weather so I went to look at birds. I've always wanted to become more knowledgeable about nature, especially birds, but felt I didn't have the time. Now I have the time. I went to a park with a beautiful pond and walked around. I identified 10 different birds, including one that only winters in Virginia, the American Coot, and the Great Egret, which is a beautiful bird. I almost picked up a turtle because I thought it was a really cool looking rock. I should have known it was a turtle; it was really big. I also saw a very small muskrat. There were lots of birds I couldn't identify but as I do this more, it will become easier. I loved it. It felt so good to be outside doing something fun.
I was able to speak to Wes three times this week. We didn't really talk about anything important (except for sex, and when your man is going to be gone for 6 months, sex is important). He won't be able to call again until later this week. I miss him so much and it was so nice to hear his voice. This is a hard time of year to be alone, especially when you actually have someone. I felt very lonely at church this morning. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I wish he were here. I am excited because I get to take his kids to meet my family and spend Christmas there. And then Wes's dad will take the kids to see family, while I go to Colorado to see more of my family. And then I'm spending another week in Texas. Hey, I know that's a long time, but my husband's gone and I don't have a job yet. And it's Christmas. I want to spend it with people I love. Don't you?