1. This was my inaugurate year for travel.
Though I have traveled many a state in the US and been able to see some of Mexico and Canada before this year, this is my first time off of the North American continent. I am only just beginning!! I’m still giddy over the fact that I can stay here in Taiwan for as long as I want…. or I can move to Australia, or Austria, or Chile, or anywhere I want. Why didn’t I do this before????
2. My fellow graduates and I played the game of LIFE this year.
After graduating we either got engaged or married, had a baby or got pregnant, lost or gained a family member, bought or sold a home, gained a new career, we were given life cards that no one wants to ever see, and some of us were given something unexpected and wonderful.
We went up and down life’s hills and mountains. It feels like we spun a wheel to see what was going to happen on any given day in classes before graduation. It is surreal to think about actually. I am grateful to have been part of this group of people for the last 4 years.
3. I realized that I have been lonely for a very, very long time.
My children are such an important part of my life in part because I am so connected to them. They are the reason I breathe. They the reason I was able to survive such a difficult marriage, a difficult school career, and the variety of weird relationships since my divorce, without becoming one of the man-hating, angry, self-defeating, crazy women. They have always been and will always be the best part of my life. But they are also 3 in a pool of about 10 people that I am truly connected to.
In order to feel lonely, one must have little to no connection to people. I am coming to the realization that I have rarely been alone in my now 40 years of life, but I have been lonely for almost all of them. It is only now that I am actually alone that I am realizing how much less lonely I am than I was before. I am taking the time to stay in contact better than I have before. NOT as good as I should be yet, but better than I have been. I miss being around people I know well, but I do not feel lonely like I have for the last 2.5 decades of my life.
I’m also starting to make friends from all around the world. It’s making the lonely thing look like something that might be moving into my past.
4. People are basically awesome.
It’s a lot more rare I think to find the people that aren’t. People are basically self-centered and stupid, but put that aside and you can see the awesomeness pretty easily. Every person has a story and I’m so honored some share with me.
Kindness is more likely to happen than not, no matter what the media wants to tell us. In fact, I think it’s listening and watching the media that is taking away our inherent kindnesses. I used to think the other way around. Glad that’s changing.
5. Holidays really are for celebrating, not just money making ploys by the Hallmark, Walmart, and Kay’s of America.
Don’t get me wrong, they have capitalized in a market for which we are suckers extraordinaire, but they are only what the holiday is about if we forget what the holiday is about. I am talking about ALL holidays.
Many of you have heard my acidic rant on how every holiday was strategically placed at monthly intervals for the specific purpose of making sure people had a paycheck before the next holiday hit. See below if you haven’t.
The 12 months of spending:
January – New Years, every one throws or attends a party and we may possibly spend as much for this holiday, if not more, than we do for Christmas/Hanukkah. Outfits, dinners, lots of drinks before the champagne, hotels, taxi’s, gifts, and breath mints, it adds up.
February– Valentines Day, at the least chocolates, flowers, candies, and boxes of cards. At the other end there are fancy dinners, Nice wines, diamonds, weddings, etc.
March – St. Patricks Day, beer at extreme levels, at jacked up prices because they put green food color in it. Not the spendiest holiday, but then again it is borrowed -so they’re still testing the market on how to get us to spend more money.
April – Easter, another big spender, especially if you have girls. Dresses, suits, eggs, baskets, charity giving, candy, church donations, and wine.
May – Mothers Day, flowers, and again the possibility for diamonds, wine, expensive dinners and nice wines.
June – Fathers Day, big tag power tools wrapped in a tie. gourmet beer
July – 4th of July, Fireworks are now sold by the item and every thing in every store is some combination of red white and blue that is “so cool” we must also own that too. Beer.
August – Back to School, everything your child could possibly need for the next 10 months of their life multiplied by how-ever-many children you have. Recovery beer.
September – general reprieve, start saving up because the big ones are coming. There’s a little extra for a good night at the local pub.
October, Halloween, candy, costumes, costume parties, more beer
November, Thanksgiving, the hum-dinger of food orgies, beer, wine.
December, Christmas/ Hanukkah presents for everyone,the office, school, kids school, church, friends, theater people, the mailman, and all of their relatives along with your own, wine, champagne, hard liquors in chocolate disguises.
And then we start all over again…… And of course don’t forget we need to throw in birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations throughout the year. I think if corporations could figure out how to get all the birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations into one place they would put it into September.
But back to where I was before I got sidetracked….
These holidays don’t have to be big spenders. They only are because we have let them be. Each of them can be truly, happily, and more lovingly celebrated if we stopped letting the commercialism into the holiday. I am really learning that this year. I may be most surprised and pleased by this discovery of the year.
6. No matter where I go I love the skies.
I don’t look up and wish I was in them, but I do look up and am thoroughly amazed every time. Even the plain thick blanket of rain clouds that you can’t see anything through amazes me because, up in the sky, the water molecules and the dirt molecules are all mixed up together and fall down as rain. But down on the ground the water molecules and the dirt molecules just turn into mud when mixed together.
The world is telling what happened, what is happening, and what will happen in the sky – it’s all there. It is amazing and it makes me wonder every time I look, which I try to do all the time.