I hope this letter finds you well.
I know this is your busiest time of year but I’d imagine you’ve got an amazing infrastructure with all your helpers. I’d also imagine this is the best time of year for you because with all of the running around it’s like your very own boot camp, getting you slim and trim (enough) to slip down all those chimneys.
Anyway, back to the reason I’m writing this to you now. At this time of year you’re probably receiving hundreds and thousands of letters from all around the world asking for this, that and everything in between. It can’t be easy since the introduction of emails, Facebook and Twitter either…I mean how do you track all the mentions? It’s not as though people #hashtag their pressie requests. By the way do you have a Twitter handle?
I hope my little note doesn’t get lost in File 13 somewhere because I really want you to read this.
I’ve been asked to put a little list together of what I’d like for Christmas and I’m stuck. I know the list is for things one would really love to receive and at this time of year it’s a more of a want-list than a need one, but to be perfectly honest I ‘m all oout of ideas.
If you had asked me the same question three years ago I would have asked for a million things. I would have asked for sunglasses (to add to my collection), maybe a new watch (because 5 isn’t enough), perfume to hide the smell of misery and expensive clothes to fill the gap that was missing in my life.
I would have even asked for some new eggs, a healthy womb and the ability to have children.
But that was three years ago. Today as I sit here, typing this letter, my cup overflows with blessings, and so this is a letter of gratitude.
Before Emma came along I was doing well work wise, earning a good salary, driving a snazzy little car and buying ridiculously priced clothes. But then something happened and I needed to take time out. For a year Mark supported me financially and emotionally. It was a difficult year, placing a huge amount of pressure on us both but it was an essential step in order for me to grow. And grow I did.
I had to redefine myself. I was no longer ‘Melinda from such and such a company’. I was suddenly ‘Melinda’, nothing more, nothing less. I also understood that I was filling a deep dark hole with all sorts of material things and as much as I tried to fill it, the deeper it got. And the deeper it got the more I relied on painkillers and sleeping tablets to get me through the ‘daze’.
As hard as it was to admit I wasn’t living my best life, I was living other peoples. I wanted to be liked, to be needed, to fit in. But it wasn’t working and I needed to do something different.
To cut a long story short, I think I’m finally where I always wanted to be. I’m close to 40 and I’m comfortable with that. I no longer need people’s approval and I don’t need to be liked by everyone, I just need to be liked by the people who matter.
I’m still just Melinda. But I’m Emma’s mom and Mark’s wife too. And I’m thankful for how my life has turned out. Through all the heartache, pain and loss I’ve come out on the other side, in one piece. Whole.
My past experiences do not define me, instead they have refined me into the person I am today. And I am thankful.
So Santa this year I don’t need or want anything. I have friendships cast in stone and have met amazing people who have quickly become an important part of my life. I have a little girl that I love with every inch of my being and I have a husband who I love more today than I did yesterday.
I’m sure wish lists aren’t transferable, but if they were I would ask that you sprinkle a little bit of that magic dust on friends and family, bringing them all they need, wish, pray and hope for.