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Times Are Changing

With the last few weeks of doing homework and finishing up University as well as packing and getting used to having another little one around, I have had a bit of quiet time to think about the things I'm going to miss in my life.

With this realization there are a few more things that I've thought about. Though I'll be leaving the town I've grown to love and serve these past 4 seasons, I don't know if life as we know it will ever return to being "normal" due to the events of this year. Will we begin to see an increase in people voting in the US? Will we see people being more kind to others? Will we see a large leap in doing work remotely even when COVID-19 ends? I don't have the answers to these things, but they're all good things to think about without a phone in your hand.

"What have you been doing then, Santa Stuart?" You may be wondering to yourselves.

I've just been enduring with the changing times. And endure we must if we are to overcome the challenges of this life.

What is enduring? It's not just existing without trials or challenges. It's not being someplace and letting the moments pass you by. It's not sitting on the bench when you need to rise to the occasion. Endurance is persevering through the thick and thin as best as you can. You're not moving backwards, but you're not charging forward. Enduring is key to making the best of life.

As a film graduate (officially in the next two weeks or so), I never thought that becoming a professional live-streamer would ever be in the cards for me. And yet, here I am trying to apply my cinematic talents to live-streaming where you can't edit or take the best take after the fact. It's all there. If you mess up, you can't fix it (unless, of course, you just delete the whole video), it exists as it was. This has been something I'm still getting used to as all the episodes on this website were scripted and professional produced, not in the very casual setting that some of my live-stream work has been.

What I can tell you is that you're not alone. We will get through this tough time if we but endure.

I find comfort in eating a lot of food and having a very full belly (even outside the Christmas season). During this pandemic time when it is also a bit too warm outside for my comfort, I find myself eating and watching TV more and more. Eating has been something I've struggled with. I love to eat, but I also tend to gain a lot of poundage when it doesn't go unchecked. A few years ago I was biking and exercising every day, so my food intake was justifiable.

But now that's no longer the case (and has been for a few years) and it's catching up to me. I never thought that I would have to worry about diabetes or other conditions that result from poor dietary control, but it's become a real thing now that I'm a Santa Claus representative and I get goodies at every turn! Yet I've come to realize I'm not Santa Claus 24/7, I'm much more than just a man in a red suit. I have other duties and obligations to fulfill. I'm a father, a husband, a brother, a son, an employee, and someone who wants to make the most of life.

If I want to live through this challenging time and come out on top, I have to feel better about myself. A few days ago I downloaded an app that has me do 5 minutes of exercising a day (just five!) to help manage my weight. I really didn't want to do it yesterday but I reminded myself it was just 5 minutes and in a month or so the results will be more apparent.

It's the little goals like this that I find help me endure. Perhaps it's constructing a new Santa suit or a pair of boots. Perhaps it's finding a good way to light a new set-up for my live-streams. Perhaps it's in having my son help me set-up different film equipment and just let him start to figure out different things (all under my watchful care).

There's so many aspects of my life I'd like to improve on, but the only thing stopping me is my stubbornness to change.

I'll be serving a new community - and probably in a different way than I have before. I'm still applying for work with very little luck (not many are hiring and this pandemic has affected the businesses and workers alike). But whatever happens, I know that the Lord is in it. We felt we needed to go to Texas, and so we're packing up our wagon to go.

In the end, we will endure.

Yours as always,

Santa Stuart

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