Holidays can be an anxious eggshell time. Expectation, hope, and letdown simmer at just below a surface. Maybe inside of us, possibly around us. As we grow in age and refine our character, that which defines us changes. What once excited us sometimes shifts to perturb, or what we once saw as absolutely necessary alters to insignificant.
My mind, spirit, and body attempt to feel grateful for what exists this holiday season. It's not what I remember, and it's not really what I want, but it's what is.
In days of yore, we ate big holiday meals at my grandmother's house. Big family, all of the cousins, sometimes great aunts or uncles, varied personalities galore. At varying times, dishes from at least two or three cultures at a table to share. At Christmas, we exchanged gifts. Or rather, my mom, grandmother, and aunts bought presents for everyone. I remember card games for the adults as I played theater with my second-cousins. I (we?) made up scripts in less than an hour or two. We practiced and then put on a show for everyone at the card game... me in an organizational role, all of us acting and dancing or singing together. I remember one time we dressed up in paper bags decorated somehow... maybe with marker?
Nowadays, I see far fewer family members on the holidays. People have fewer kids, some folks divorced, others disappeared or died. I try to keep upbeat, and it's pretty challenging for all of the reasons in this blog and others, too, that I don't share or externalize.
I feel super uncertain about my job and whether it will last or for how long and what else I might do if not this. My family situation is pretty distant with mostly texts or emails. Friends are at the ready, and I probably wouldn't call on them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day just because... Is that a necessary boundary? Seems like it. Anyone else out there think that, too? or not? Anyway, I wrote this yesterday but can't think of how to fit it into today's piece. So here it is absent great segue.
"Human psyches and self-respect respond to pieces of information just like external plant pieces respond to variations in the weather. If we have shade from others, or protection when we need it, we might develop strong bonds with people. Too much shade or protection when we don't need or want it can deplete us, destroy us. What seems threatening or invasive to one might not restrict or set off any radars for another. We have to speak up for ourselves or act in ways that empower us, or eventually our limbs wither from lack of self-support.
Plants die sometimes when it freezes outside. Shallow roots or lone leaves can be most vulnerable to sudden changes in temperature. Covering a plant might assist, and you have to catch the exterior pieces in time or they will wither even after being covered. All of this is also true with relationships.
Vernacular differentiates us from each other. On the Internet, reading these words offers some clues to our upbringing, education, whereabouts."
Super random, but wanted to share it!
Hope you have a great day today wherever you are, that you respect yourself and others, and follow in line with a certain segment of rules that keep safety, honor, and joy in your existence.
I don't know all of the answers, I've made and will make a lot of mistakes, and I'm not your friend. Yet maybe we share something in common -- a thread of connection with humanity, perhaps... Maybe a certain perspective on apples and cheese and whether we have a right to choose whether they taste delicious together.
For sure we are each of us divine in our existence. May we freely embody and share this divinity as kindness, compassion, and connection with the eternal.
Well hello there.