27 December 2013

a Christmas as myself

I have been away for far too long and have been itching to post a couple of things from this last week... It has, of course, been Christmas and I have been distracted by that! 

I went to Midnight Mass on Tuesday evening with my friend V. We do this most years but have missed the last few mainly because of madam being too little. This year I knew she would sleep through and that mum and dad wouldn't have a small screaming child on their hands. 

So having told the parents I was going to MM they were both surprised when V rang the bell at 11pm to collect me. I was slightly amused. We were joined in our trip by V's brother and his wife which was lovely as I haven't seen them for ages and certainly not since before they were married. 

We got to the church in reasonable time and even managed to get a space in the church car park, which is ridiculously small in comparison to the size of the church/congregation. V and I have always loved sitting at the front as we get a good view of what is going on and also we used to be able to see the baby Jesus being placed in the nativity at midnight. 

Sadly, they now do a crib service earlier in the day and place Jesus in the scene then, and they've also moved it to a different part of the church to make it more accessible. This, obviously, prompts a "gosh, Jesus is premature" response every year. Yeah, I am that person...

Anyway, we took up our usual front-ish row seats and settled down to wait for the start of the service. We did our usual gossiping and V did her now customary "I really want to dust that" at the organ screen. (She's right, it's awful, but a very fiddly and delicate job).

We sang a couple of hymns and listened to a couple of readings and then it was time for the sermon. We knew it was going to be interesting when the vicar started off telling us about the "words of the year" that have been added in to the Oxford English Dictionary. We both rather hoped that he would refrain from explaining/demonstrating twerking!

He culminated in what has been the word of the year. Selfie. He explained what it was and how ubiquitous it has become. Though I don't think it's as new a phenomenon as people try and make out. I have a couple of selfies of me and V from when we were about 17! Anyway, he then went on to explain that the birth of Christ was God's version of a selfie.


I had to cover my face with the order of service pamphlet. I also had to clamp my mouth shut so I didn't laugh out loud. I took one look at V and that set me off again. 

About halfway through the sermon the chimes sounded for midnight and V and I wished each other a Merry Christmas. I have always loved seeing the day in like that. But whilst I was sitting there, listening to the vicar waffle on and wishing V a merry christmas at the exact same time she said it to me, I realised something.

I felt totally myself.

For the first time in such a long time. That giggling, silly, easy familiarity and love of good friends finally got through and made me feel better. I came home after the service and had the quiet of the house to myself. I sat and wrapped parcels and placed them under the tree and instead of the underlying loneliness that usually accompanies me everywhere I just felt blessed to be having this quiet time.

I don't for a moment think that I am completely back to myself, but I've finally got to a place where it's becoming easier to feel it. I'm hoping this means that by this time next year I might, finally, be more myself than not :) 

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