I was walking home on Christmas night when I saw a young woman carrying her little daughter into a house near 71st Street.
I’d never seen her before in my life, but as soon as the mother and I made eye contact, I smiled and wished her a merry Christmas.
“Merry Christmas,” she replied.
And, as I was walking by them, this adorable little girl called out after me.
It was a perfect ending to a fabulous day. A little snow and we would have had a Hallmark movie moment.
And then the sun came up.
I was one of the few people in New York apparently who had to work on Friday and I managed to have a spectacularly awful day at the office.
Every single thing I put my hand on went straight to hell, I made all sorts of bonehead mistakes, and after a while I was afraid to come out of my cubicle. It was a miracle the soda machine didn’t blow up when I dropped in my change.
What’s really frustrating is that I hadn’t planned on being in the office on Friday.
I was going to take the day off, but I used up my remaining time off for last month’s hospital stay so I had no choice.
I have to make some massive changes in my life very soon. I feel like I’m in a ditch, physically, emotionally, and professionally. I just don’t know what the hell to do next.
Would anyone mind if I just ran off to the South Seas?
Perhaps that’s not realistic. Only a children and immature adults think that good times should go on forever.
Every moment is new and no one knows what’s coming next.
Things got a little better on the weekend. My sister and I made our annual pilgrimage to Dyker Heights on Saturday night to see the incredible Christmas decorations. For those of you who have never experience this annual orgy of blinking lights, it's quite a trip.
People blanket their homes in all kinds of holiday-themed paraphernalia. Traffic is backed up for blocks as cars and crowds crawl around the streets and I'll bet the neighborhood is visible from outer space. I wonder what the aliens think of all this.
It was such a nice night that my sister parked her car a few blocks away and we walked around the neighborhood—along with hundreds of other people.
I hadn’t planned on going to the display this year—especially after the Friday fiasco--but I’m glad I did. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Lights of Dyker Heights.
Today I got one brutally intense massage at Heavenly Body Works as a young lady literally walked up and down my back like I was a human surfboard.
Apparently I had requested this abuse, but I suspect this was actually a result of a language gap.
“Strong?” the masseuse asked just before she started.
“Yeah, sure,” I said, not knowing what she meant. I quickly found out as her feet dug into my back. Now I know what those two metal pipes positioned over the massage table are for.
But the payoff for the torture was that I feel better now. So there might be a message in the massage. Change can be painful, but when it’s over you’re likely to be a better person.
I look back on my life and see large stretches of time when I chose comfort over change, even when the “comfort” was making me miserable.
That attitude has to go out with the old year. I need to clean up my messes, sharpen my vision, and face my fears.
And if that doesn’t work, I’ll send you a post card from Fiji.