Thursday, 20 December 2012

Not So Happy Secret Santa !

I never thought Secret Santa could cause such a hooha until recently. 

When I first announced I would be running work's Secret Santa , it was met with varying degrees of enthuasiasm.  Beginning with mild bemusement, then sprawling into the minor annoyance of picking someone you don't know recognise, or in the worst case scenario - dislike.

Oh and did I mention my having to explain the rules multiple times, because people failed to read my initial Secret Santa by numbers email.  By the end of everything, even I could feel the SS joy draining slowly out of me.

However, being a big kid at heart, once I'd decorated Santa's postbox (don't laugh - I've done it every year since my first ever job many moons ago), the curiousity of an ever increasingly pile of brightly covered parcels, with names on, become a source of daily joy for gatherers at the desk next to mine.

The big SS draw went ok, or so I thought. There was the inevitable "I didn't get anything!" moment, from one of the loveliest people in our grotto.  Embarrassment was averted by the arrival of the 'extra' present, always at the ready, by veteran Secret Santa aficionados like moi.

I thought I was out of the snowy mountains and running home free, until the Secret Santa disaffection reared its ugly head !

It cames from the last person I expected.  Someone I always thought was a real sweetheart, who was extremely hacked off to receive a gift, which she considered thoughtless and cheap. 

It took the wise words, of a more mature colleague, to silence her rant with the wisdom, that maybe her Secret Santa, simply didn't have the money to go large in the Secret Santa stakes.

I thought about what  the "Up to £10" Secret Santa budget has meant to me at various times throughout this year. 

Travel to a temp job I desperately needed to keep me going, while looking for a permanent job. A weekly 'student shop' of beans, pasta and vegetables or an all to rare splurge at my favourite discount store.

I don't mind admitting it, this year's struggles have touched me in ways I didn't think possible.  I am ridiculously careful with money now. It's as if I am waiting to get tapped on the shoulder and told that this gig is about to end and once again I'll have to worry about looking for another one.

I've never been a great lover or truster of money weirdly, but for the first time ever I know its true value - the freedom it gives you in terms of choices/options open to you and if you're really lucky or just super careful - security.

I find myself genuinely grateful for the tiniest good thing that happens in my life. From my daily latte, to the unexpected words of support from a colleague. I think before I speak much more than I ever have and I'm much nicer to friends and family.

For the first time in my life, people have started to describe me as calm and unaffected by the small stuff, which for a former sporadic drama queen, is quite a change.

I don't know how long Zen BB can go the distance, but I genuinely like where I'm at and the possiblities of where it could lead me, without losing who I am essentially - the lady who keeps on going, even when it feels like the deck has become home.

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