A Reflection for Today

As we have already entered the holiday season for some time now, I thought it appropriate to reflect on this current holiday and what it means.
For many the holidays are difficult and, yes, I have been one of those people. I am slowly beginning to appreciate and be thankful for times of celebration. For me some traditions of the past have been discarded, but not forgotten, for newer traditions of our own making.
There are so many holidays from various religions, sects, and cultures that it can be overwhelming to try and celebrate all of them. To my knowledge (limited as it is), this season was kicked off with Rosh Hashanah and the other Jewish festivals clustered around Fall (from a Northern Hemisphere perspective) followed by the mixture of Pagan and Christian holidays in Halloween and Dia de Muertos or Day(s) of the Dead celebration, then Thanksgiving (Canadian and American), and into the Winter holidays of Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and of course Festivus ;-). These are just a few of which I know, I am sure there are many more from other cultures. Forgive me for not being as worldly and knowledgeable as I would like.

What seems to be at the root of these celebrations is first, the changing seasons and what that meant for peoples and cultures dependent on agriculture. Second, the emphasis on various foods appropriate to what is available during the season. And third, there is the celebration of family. Before you stop reading, I am not one those that is/was overly fond of big get togethers with my birth family. Those have their time and place, but I generally feel very apprehensive and uncomfortable in those situations for a variety of reasons, and we will just leave it at that.
What I have discovered over the years is such a thing as chosen family. Those we choose to be with at the holidays. Those gatherings can be far more safe and comfortable for all concerned because we all (I hope) have chosen to celebrate together.

Whether you celebrate with birth family or chosen family, or choose not to celebrate at all, please take some time and consider that in this season of change, all those things for which you can be thankful. For some it may not be much, if any at all. Sometimes all we can do is be thankful for that moment in time in which we have life, even if it is our last breath.
Also, please take a moment and give thought to those who have less and see if you can find a way to make life better for another, whether that is something as small as a smile or a kind word.
I am very thankful for all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way and have been there for me when I felt I couldn’t go on.

I am thankful for the people in my life that accept me for the person I am (my husband included…) and put up with me.
I am thankful that we are in a good place right now and have the opportunity to help others.
I am thankful for a home we love that is finally not underwater (value-wise) and the city in which we live.
I am thankful that we (Ben and I) have had each other for twenty-one years (and counting) and we still like each other.

I am eternally grateful for our four cats (and those that have passed on), they fill my life with unconditional love and sometimes hilarity.
And last but not least, I am thankful for all of the people who have come and gone and those that are still around as well as those yet to come who read our posts, listen to our crazy podcast, and interact with us. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You are the reason we do this thing.

Ben and Keith

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