It has been a very strange Advent. It hardly seems possible that it's the beginning of the fourth, and last week, already. I have not been in my church since Advent 1. The second Sunday I was scheduled for supply away and it was cancelled for weather, last Sunday WE Cancelled for weather, and yesterday I stayed home because I was personally a little under my own particular weather....and so it goes. It's been strange in other ways, too. I suspect it's partially the church thing, but I'm feeling rather unprepared for Christmas in the sense of my spirit just not being ready. I feel rather disconnected from the whole business right now, a rather "going-through-the motions" sort of thing.
There are a whole host of reasons for this, I suspect. I've alluded to the fact that there are some stressors in my work life right now that are making it less than a happy place to be eight hours a day five days a week. I'm also feeling some stress in my church life that makes it a little harder than usual to be there, too. And there's that SAD thing that seems to have hit me harder than usual this year. Maybe because winter seems to have come earlier than usual and with vengeance. We have another 4-6" predicted for today. It seems to never stop, and it's technically not even winter yet! It was our hope that this would be our last winter in the cold and snowy land. We still hope that this is true, but I am less optimistic than I once was that we will actually be able to make a major move this year. There are all sorts of reasons for this that have to do with technical rules and regs related to the licensure for my day job and how I was educated for it over ten years ago. It seems that simply being educated for and having a license in a profession for a number of years in one state does not qualify one to obtain that same licensure in another. Oh if it were only that simple! So I'm feeling sort of glum about all of that right now.
And then there was the Lessons and Carols thing. Short story. It got cancelled and I was glad. Anyone who has been here for a while could not imagine that I would ever say that. I could not imagine that I would ever be saying that. But this year....yes. We have (well now it's had but that's another story) a new choir director. He had his own ideas about things. They did not include our traditional L and C but rather a much pared down version. Somber Advent version. Hymns, chants...from the Hymnal, lots of congregational singing. All well and good I suppose. But not our tradition. He didn't ask, he just...decided. There was to be but one rehearsal. All that was needed really for this simple version. It got pre-empted by a blizzard. So did the L and C. End of story. He's decided to step down after a very short tenure as CD. It's ok. He will stay as in the organist's rotation. That should work.
It's snowing. It looks like that prediction is right on point. The cancellations are starting to come in. It will be a good day to catch up on end of year paperwork and maybe some much needed office cleaning. I have some really yummy leftovers to microwave for lunch, and a good book on my Nook to keep me occupied. The trick is to keep my brain busy and on task. It likes to go off down dark little rabbit trails when left to it's own devices. So like a good minder, I must have things ready to keep it gainfully employed.
So begins the last week of the Advent that never really started. There's part of me that still wants to redeem it somehow. Get out the wreath before it's all over. "Light the candles, banish the darkness" the small and ever-hopeful part of me says. Perhaps. Perhaps. I do know still where the box is stored. It would not take so much to find it. One small act to beat back this gloom, one small defiance to claim this Christmas yet.