The Tree is Gone, Press On:: Embracing Possibility in 2021

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I know I’m late. I know it’s now February. We finally took our Christmas tree down and, I have to say, I’m sad about it. 

The Tree is Gone, Press On:: Embracing Possibility in 2021Amidst all of the gloom and doom of 2020 so many rushed to put up Christmas décor to bring some light and joy into their homes and neighborhoods, but we weren’t one of those families. {When did you put up your tree?} Maybe the weight of knowing Christmas would be masked and hug-less just didn’t get us in the Christmas spirit, or maybe it was the idea of another chore on top of all the busyness that surrounds Christmas that left us feeling depleted and unmotivated. Whatever it was, I am almost ashamed to say that this traditionally Black Friday decorator did not lug the boxes out of the attic until {gasp!} December 20th

But it went up, with all its trimming and lights, all its joy and memories, and for a while the world outside, swirling with chaos, politics, anger, violence, fear, isolation, and despair seemed to quiet. At least around my Netflix fireplace, peace permeated the room, and hot chocolate won the day. 

The Tree is Gone, Press On:: Embracing Possibility in 2021

This weekend our puppy… our sweet, lovable, precious, pandemic puppy… chewed through the cord of our tree. The husband said it had to go {the tree, not the dog… but in the moment, he may have said the dog too}. So handcrafted ornament by ornament, memory by memory, came off the tree and into storage for next year. 

We do this every year; why am I so sad? 

Maybe I’m afraid 2021 won’t be the respite and relief we had hoped for. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the year to magically be better, but there remains this glimmer of hope that we will turn a corner and see some brighter days. 

Maybe holding on to the soft glow of Christmas lights was safer than pressing forward, seizing the day, and making 2021 better. 

Maybe in the midst of job changes, job losses, schedule modifications, life upheavals, fears of tomorrow, I just wanted one thing to stay safe, to stay the same. 

Maybe Christmas reminded me that I didn’t have to fight, but only be still. 

Maybe I just wanted to be the crazy lady who had a “holiday tree” and started decorating for Valentine’s day {This may be true… but I asked the spouse and he objected…vehemently}.

But the new year {and the puppy} forced the tree out and left an empty spot in our living room and my heart. {You don’t have to tell me that was cheesy. Let my romantic, forlorn, Enneagram 4 heart grieve}. 

So… now what? 

We carpe diem, we own the new schedule, the new job, the new family situation. We do the uncomfortable, we grieve what we lost in 2020, because it sucks, but then we look to what’s coming and we position ourselves to be an agent of positive change in the world. {What does that look like for you?} 

 We find new, creative ways to celebrate. We make new favorites, new traditions. We celebrate every day, because nobody ever said no to a good celebration, and Mondays need love too!

We find something to be thankful for every day. We hold on to the light because the darkness will find a foothold and it doesn’t need our help. 

We invest in ourselves, in our hobbies, passions, and dreams. We start today, because when tomorrow comes, we can look back and say we are one step further than we were yesterday. 

We fight for the hearts of our children, for the health of our family, for the safety of our neighbors. We stand strong in the face of injustice and we lead by example, because the future is watching, and change starts with us.

I’m not always this enlightened when the tree comes down, I don’t usually reflect as I vacuum the remnants of fake snow, but we live in “unprecedented times”, right? Sorry, had to say it. 

I’m ready for 2021. And today I’ll be scavenging  for clearance Christmas trees, and maybe investing in a doggie gate for next Christmas. 


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Sara has lived her whole life in the Katy/Houston area. She loves all the culture, art, cuisine, endless things to do, and big city flare with pockets of peaceful parks that Houston has to offer. She is currently a student at University of Houston {Go Coogs!} due to graduate in 2020 with a BS in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. She has a passion for working with kids and families and currently works as a Director of Children’s Ministry in Katy. Sara has been married to her best friend, Patrick, since 2014 and together they are raising 3 super-spunky, strong-willed kids:: Camryn {2007}, Caleb {2009}, and Casey {2012}. Pray for them, please. When Sara is not working, doing schoolwork, or on mom duty, you can find her painting, catching up with friends over coffee {or drinks!}, reading a good book, getting a new tattoo, or sweating it out at the gym! Fun Fact:: Sara sings. A lot. And she finds dancing irresistible. In other words, she is the best driving buddy ever. You can follow her on Instagram at @smurphy.808 or @just.strong.sara.

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