Starting 2014 on the wrong foot
Christmas is now over and what a memorable Christmas it was… In November I felt like Christmas was approaching too quickly and I wanted more than anything for it to go away. Christmas could not be now. I didn’t have enough money, I didn’t have enough time to look for presents, I didn’t have time to decorate the house, I didn’ t have the money or time to plan a Christmas party. It just could not be now because I wasn’t prepared as I was in past years.
I remember at the beginning of this year, so many people told me that 2013 was going to be their year, expressing their dreams and goals for the future with pride, hope, determination and gusto, only to have this year’s economic recession hit harder than expected and towards the end of the year many have turned around to say that this was the worst year financially and emotionally. We all talked about how tough this year was and couldn’t wait for it to end. Have you ever heard the saying “it could always be worse?” well that was our reality this Christmas. Just when we thought this year couldn’t get any worse it did… A freak storm hit our island on Christmas Eve. It left our island devastated with main bridges broken, roads completely damaged, houses completed flooded, lives lost, people stranded and homeless, people without power and water, people without access to see their family and friends on Christmas, businesses ruined. It was tragic. This Christmas Eve was one of the most challenging 24 hours ever in the eyes of many.
We didn’t see this coming; we could not have imagined it. Many have asked why now? Why us? Why? Why? Why? Our island can’t afford this. We need this like we need a hole in our head. Maybe the timing wasn’t coincidental and just maybe this catastrophe was to remind us what Christmas is really about. I spoke with a special friend today who thought that Christmas has become so commercialized that people have lost the true meaning of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas is about Love, giving, family and friends. It is through these tragedies that we see people come together, we experience true giving, caring and love. People sacrificed their plans on Christmas day to help others; to ensure that people were safe, to ensure that electricity, water and other critical services were restored, to help clean up the country, to assist those that lost their homes and possessions, and comforted those who lost their family.
Challenges are necessary for change and I am certain that the majority of us have a different perspective on the Holiday season and what is really important after having gone through this experience.
This Christmas will go down in my books as one of the most memorable Christmas’ ever. All the things I was worried about in November; not enough money, time, gifts etc meant nothing. It was a complete waste of valuable time and energy. None of these things played a part in adding to my memories about this Christmas. What I will remember is:
- the tight hug I gave my son at the airport on his return from University to spend Christmas with us.
- the love I felt when my family came over to decorate the tree to celebrate my son’s return for Christmas.
- that I spent little or no money giving my closest friends and family videos of our lives together that touched their hearts tremendously.
- how we made a bad situation of no electricity on Christmas Eve and turned it into a family fun night of dance and reminiscing, which was an amazing family bonding experience.
- the love of my family on Christmas morning and feeling grateful for this treasure.
- seeing how quickly our island jumped into action to get things back to normal for the majority of us. This made me very proud.
- feeding the homeless with my children on boxing day and seeing their remarkable interaction with residents of the home. This is something we have never done before and gave all of us the passion to continue to give back regularly.
It is clear that I learned some valuable lessons over the last month and will take this into 2014 as a huge step in my growth. Starting the new year on the wrong foot usually leads to nowhere good. I am starting 2014 on the right foot with a much better understanding of the impact of Giving and Love. Thank you Christmas 2013 for teaching many of us this.
Written by Lisa Charles
Here’s wishing you and your family an amazing 2014 filled with an abundance of Love and Giving.
All the best from my family to yours.