She's the one friend who's singing Christmas carols in October. The one who actually looks forward to decorating for the holidays. She thinks that Santa in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is winking and waving only to her. She "Believes."
My friend, Marilyn, finds joy in holidays, birthday, family, friends, baseball and historical road markers. She learned the importance of patriotism by flying the flag at every holiday (of course she was born on Flag Day) and cries every time the national anthem is played. Marilyn has not always had an easy life.
Marilyn was born in 1951, the first girl in an Irish Catholic family of eight kids. The family moved around a lot because her father worked for the F.W. Woolworth Company (five-and-dime store). Because of the frequent moves the children played with each other and are still close today. The children did not know they did not have a lot of money.
The tradition of Marilyn's famous "flair" began when she started wearing vests to work. The day after Thanksgiving she begins to add a Christmas pin on her vest. This year's record was 37 pins (see picture for proof). The anticipation for Christmas and savoring the joy of the holiday was marked by the festive fair and helped sway office Humbug's. Next flair event... St. Patrick's Day!
Marilyn has endured and recovered from painful scoliosis, cancer, diabetes and divorce. This year she is looking forward to retirement after 51 years of working. Her first job was at the Woolworth's Luncheonette and her last job will be at a public behavioral health agency. At 67, she says she feels like she is 30 and intends to enjoy long walks, traveling, spending time with family and watching the fireworks show at Mt. Rushmore. And yes, there will be a Retirement Party!
How can we learn from Marilyn's example and create, anticipate and savor celebrations? Where is my/our flair? Please send me your comments.