I always think that the last week of the year is such an *interesting* week. It’s such a good example of “borderline” time (or “liminal,” for my fancy academic friends). We have one foot in one place (the current year) and the other in another place (the soon-to-be year). Many people are being a bit contemplative about what they’d like to accomplish in the coming year – and I think that’s especially true after the Cosmic Goat Rodeo of 2020. I encourage us all to spend some time thinking about this past year and moving with definite intention into the next. If you’re one to set “resolutions” for the coming year, make them super definite and set some markers for the year, so you check in with yourself along the way, at least monthly if not more often. More on that in the coming days.
For today’s Delights, we’re going to take a deep dive into the notion of gratitude, We often think of gratitude as relating to the things we have, but it also applies to the things we DON’T have. Six years ago, I was recovering from surgery to treat early stage breast cancer. That was a strange season , to be sure (“Christmas on Painkillers” could have been a tremendous country hit!), but my condition was detected very early and I learned a great deal about friendship, support, and humility.
So to begin, I’d like to suggest another worthy charity for year-end giving and ongoing support. Free the Slaves is an organization doing amazing work to end modern day slavery and trafficking, whether that’s through labor, child marriage, or sexual exploitation. (Remember, Divas work to make a better world – to do so, we can’t simply shy away from uncomfortable topics.) Examine their work – I think you’ll discover some shocking things, but also some glints of hope.
For your own “Diva drill,” bundle up and go outside to stargaze. (If it’s cloudy or stormy where you are, just bookmark this idea.) The cosmos is very large and we are very small. It’s good to remember that from time to time. If, like me, you aren’t really sure what you’re seeing, take along a good book (or even a phone app) and give your eyes plenty of time to adjust to the dark. It’s even better if you can find a truly dark place to study the sky, but make do as best you can.
Relating to this is my bookshelf choice. Tristan Gooley’s The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs is one of my “to be read” books that’s been on my shelf for far too long. It’s divided into chapters devoted to the woods, finding your way, tracking animals, reading weather signs, and other topics, including stargazing. I intend to move this one into the “read” pile in the next few weeks.
As far of our final category of “holiday celebrating” goes, today is an excellent day to quietly ponder gratitude. Whether you sit quietly and meditate, make a gratitude list, or call a far-flung friend, it’s a good day to remember that we are social animals and our ties to other people keep us grounded in this world. Think, Divas. Think.
See you tomorrow!