I just received an email from an old friend. “I hope 2007 is off to a good start,” she wrote.
My immediate reply was “Absolutely! Life is always off to a good start.”
There’s a statement I like: Life is always off to a good start. Eight little words that make me feel as though it all starts now. This leads me back to a funny incident that happened on Christmas day.
For me, stuffed stockings are often more important than the presents under the tree. I love the tradition of waking up on December 25th and finding an overflowing cornucopia of Christmas at the end of my duvet. I love the memories of my younger brother and me sitting on my childhood bed in the still-too-dark moments of the morning as we share our stash.
Every year, the staples were there: a mandarin orange, a Lifesaver book, an Archie comic, a magazine, an Oh Henry bar, and a few small games to keep us happy until a respectable hour. I savoured these little presents, especially the magazine. It was my treat.
This is a traditional I have passed on to my kids. My husband, who never had stockings growing up and was thrust into the tradition when he met me, has also joined in. Being of Eastern European descent, he has added to the mandatory list: ginger cookies, chocolate bars from the Czech Republic, and marzipan piggies.
This year, however, things were a little low-key in our house, and on Christmas morning, my stocking was mostly empty. In all fairness, we decided to celebrate Christmas a day earlier and, well, with my partner being a last minute shopper, my stocking was sacrificed.
Later that day, while in transit on the ferry to my parents, Santa surprised me with a few items that had “fallen out” of my stocking. He looked at me with a loving twinkle in his eye and pulled out of his sack a bag of Smartfood and a magazine.
More magazine. A magazine celebrating women over the age of 40, which is great, except that I am not over the age of 40, and have more than just a few years to go. I am not sure what message my slightly younger husband was trying to tell me.
“I got the magazine because of the stories on the cover,” he said.
“You mean the “Antiaging Beauty: Neck Creams You Can Believe In” article,” she said.
“No, no the other articles,” he said.
A twinkle in my eye appeared and I couldn’t help but laugh like jolly old Saint Nick.
That night, tucked in a corner of my parents couch, I dove into my Christmas magazine. One article in particular struck my fancy: “Your Reinvention Roadmap,” stories of brave women who woke up one day and decided to do something different with their life. Another article chronicles the adventures of a motorcycle trip through Vietnam, while another tells the story of a financial advisor trading in her briefcase for a fishing rod. Now, these are stories I can relate to, no matter the number of candles on my cake.
Life begins again and again and again at any age. 20, 30, 40, 50 or 80. Absolutely, life is always off to a good start.