Friday, December 5, 2014

Missing Jim

To anyone that knows me well, it's no surprise that I am a big fan of Jim Brickman. Ever since I was introduced to his piano music as a middle-schooler (let's face it, probably not his key demographic), I have been a fan...a "Brickmaniac", if you will. (Ha! I just made that up...& I don't think I'll say it again. It is quite awful.) His music played at my wedding, and in the delivery rooms when Emerson and Brennan were born, and listening to his music never ceases to be such an immediately calming, soothing experience for me. So, when I heard over the summer that he was coming to Springfield for another Christmas concert, I was thrilled. (Seeing his Christmas tour a couple of years ago was such a fun way to celebrate the holiday, and I have anticipated him coming back to town since then!) I knew I would have a two-month-old at home by the time early-December rolled around, but I told myself that it was do-able. That, one way or another, I'd be in attendance. And, frankly, looking forward to the occasion was an encouragement for many outing that I knew would be a rejuvenating, relaxing one for me during a time when I knew I'd need one.

But, when tickets went on sale in August (on my birthday, no less), I didn't buy them. And, the twenty other times I checked the website, selecting my ideal seats and getting excited about the event, something stopped me from ever making the purchase.

I think I knew in the back of my mind that it wouldn't be particularly feasible. And, I was right. Here we are, the day of the concert, and I still don't have tickets. I won't be going. The reality is that the timing is wrong; the girls need me in the evenings, and leaving them for the concert would not be in the best interest of the family. I know that staying with them is what I need to do, and because being "Mom" is my greatest joy, it's what (deep down!) I want to do, too.

But, in all honesty, I am truly sad to be missing out. Seriously, I'm really, really, bummed. It doesn't help my attitude that I have family members that will be going. I'm happy for them (because really, everyone needs Jim Brickman in their life), but I'm jealous. I'm downright green with envy, as embarrassing as that is to admit. Although it's not a quality I'm proud of, it's the truth. I wanted so badly to get out of the house, to have some peaceful time, doing something that would be special to me. 

But, as I reflected this morning about my bad attitude, I realized that my desire to do this, for ME, goes against everything this season (& this life) is about. It isn't about me. It's about giving, and serving, and loving others before myself. Motherhood certainly teaches that lesson again and again.

(With that said, I think there's a lot of value in the concept of taking care of yourself as a mom so you can better serve your family. And, really, going to this concert was less about having a fun Christmas outing, and more about doing something that would benefit my mental health. This definitely would've fit the bill...but I'll figure out something else to serve that purpose. Not that I'm in poor mental health.... You get it.)

I so want to be focused on the right things during this season of Advent. And, if missing a concert is what the Lord is using to reveal an area of sin (that is, too high an emphasis on self-desire), then so be it.

My mom is right. "There will be more Jim Brickman concerts." (Though it'll probably be a couple of years...and who knows what family life will look like then. But, here I go getting all Grinch-y again. I'll stop.) Life goes on. This event just wasn't meant to be.

So! I'm moving on to 'Plan B'. Tonight, I think we'll get the girls dressed in cozy pajamas and load up in the van with mugs of hot chocolate. And then, as we drive around town looking at Christmas lights, you'd better believe we'll be listening to a few of Mr. Brickman's Christmas CD's.

It won't be the same as being at Hammons Hall.... It could be even better. Actually, because I'll be with the ones I love the most, it absolutely will be.

I like to think that's what Jim would want.

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