Phew!  Well, that is Christmas done.

As the anticipations of the season dissipate, so does the tension from my body.  I am left with the usual muscle pains of surfing at the age of 50, rather than a chronic tension throughout my hips and neck.

I had a great weekend!  Christmas Day started on the beach with a steady flow of friends in and out of the water.  I caught the best wave, ever…yet.  I know this because my heart soared when I was on that long, wild ride.  And because a group of my friends jumped back into the water to get their share of the big waves.

Sheri and Ruth between surfs at Drill Hall.

In the afternoon, I went to the South Africans for a braai (it is what they call a barbecue).  It involves a lot of meat, and because we are on the island, we had a feast of fish as well.  It was simple, like camping, because they don’t have any furniture yet.  The renovation crew comes in January 4th and the site is full of possibilities.

My friends and I have bought home here.  It feels more stable.  When visitors leave it is less heart wrenching because my family and community are still here.

I will admit that I had a good cry Christmas Eve.  There is a sadness in not feeling all the things that we are told we should feel this time of year.  I dried my eyes as I realized that the media sells us emotions so that they can sell us stuff.  This is usually how I get over Christmas – a good Boxing Day sale!  But everything was closed Monday and Tuesday.

Last week there was a VAT Holiday, where the 17.5% VAT tax is foregone.  It was a reminder of the how awful shopping in Barbados can be with general disorganization, chaos in the queues, and brutal traffic on the roads.  Shopping, in my previous life, was a favorite pastime of mine.

I survived another Christmas.  Not just survived, I made it through ok.  And I didn’t have to shop, drink, or eat myself into oblivion to do it.  Instead, I focused on the ocean and my friends, and the knowledge that this too shall pass and then I can get back to my life – a life that I cherish.

I hope that everyone had a great weekend.  That you filled it with things that bring you joy and if this involves your family, any version of family, that you too feel blessed.

Happy Holidays.  Sending you warmth and sunshine from Barbados.

Sunset over Carlisle Bay