As the holidays near, the media tells us we're to be happy and boisterous in celebration. Reminding us to appreciate and spend time with family and buy, buy, buy for them. But the fact is, this time of year should really be no different than any other time of the year. Shouldn't we always appreciate our family? Further, when I don't buy, buy, buy for people the rest of the year (unless it's something from my heart or needed), why would I cave into the pressure of buying so many gifts this time of year? Don't get me wrong, I'm no scrooge muttering 'bah humbug'...but I am taking a stand against the consumer driven society we live in that makes people feel they are less than worthy if they're unable to boost the economy with purchases to present to family and friends.
For the first time in many years, I'm baking, cooking and making things by hand. This is from my heart and takes much more creativity and personal investment than anything I could purchase at the store. Of course, I have to tell that to my niece and nephew who reminded me of how excited they were to open up all their gifts in a couple of days. Ah yes, programming of the young minds.
Sadly, yesterday I was reminded that no matter what time of year, people will still die (as some did in a horrible car pile-up on I-10 due to a dust storm). I imagine that they were going about their lives the same way we did yesterday. Having no clue of their fate. As sad as that is to share, I share it because it is a reminder that regardless of the time of year, we should live each day to its fullest. We just never know when this life is over.
On another note, I was also reminded of how blessed I am. I was asked to interview for a position at a college that I didn't even apply for. That, in itself, is something to feel pretty good about. As the Dean and two others asked me questions, I had no choice but to reflect on my life and how I reached where I am today. Looking back at the past 20 years (yes, it's been THAT long since I graduated from high school), I can certainly take some credit for the years and years of studying I've done but I cannot take credit for the path that was laid before me. It just happened to be one of those things that was meant to be (God's path for me, fate, etc.) and I was fortunate enough to follow it. Even if this position is not meant to be the next step in my career, the interview gave me an opportunity to reflect on all the positives in my life and how what I've been blessed with, must be given back in some way.
Life is not perfect, it never will be, but it is blessed. And I will work hard to remind myself of this on a daily basis. I realize I'm all over the place on this post, but I'm feeling rather all over the place so my writing reflects that.
Merry Christmas family and friends!