We just finished the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an opportunity to spend time with family– to travel short or long distances — to perhaps have some time off, and, for some, to relax. It’s also a time some of us travel long distances in ridiculously slow, frustrating, and long traffic queues. Other people work themselves to the bone to prepare their house and cook special dishes for people they love. And then there are football games — when we hear one another yelling at the players and referees. And there are sales. We are inundated with advertising sections in the newspaper, and all the ads on TV, to the point where a season of joy and generosity is overshadowed by the stress of acquiring more things to give others or to fill our houses so we can entertain. Sometimes these activities make us happy, and sometimes we just feel worn out or resentful of the effort it takes.
This past week, we had many chances to just be thankful. Thankful the drive on Interstate 5 did NOT take as long as it might have (although we were going 15 mph at times). Thankful that there were no major accidents or shutdowns — always thankful not to be in an accident or fender bender.
And it was nice to spend time with family, even with younger cousins and their kids– who are so cute and learning new things all the time! I’m thankful to have my elderly parent around, and a week of good health. And it was so nice to rest.
So, hopefully we can continue to take moments to rest and reflect on joy and the gifts we already have — even as we have the pressure of the media, the market, and peers, to give more. Merry Thanksgiving, as my friends were joking about the post-Thanksgiving, pre-December holiday time. Have a Joyful and thoughtful Advent, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year!