‘Tis the Season…

At our house we’re doing the usual things…getting a holiday tree, putting a lighted wreath outside, buying a few gifts for relatives, planning the menu for Christmas dinner. I thought I’d have plenty of time this month to prepare, but somehow I’ve dawdled away some of that precious time. And now…it’s just around the corner!

Honestly, I’ve been seesawing back and forth this winter between what’s happening in my life and what’s happening in all our lives. The world feels different this year to me…as though the turmoil is cumulative and is reaching a point of no return. I am acutely aware of the thousands of people who are migrating across continents because their lives have become untenable where they live. I think about ordinary people everywhere whose way of life is being challenged by the new customs and behaviors of the new arrivals in their towns and cities. I have been thinking about the Native Americans protesting in the freezing temperatures of North Dakota, trying to protect their water rights and maintain their human rights. Every day I read about homeless people scattered in cities throughout the country and children living in third world conditions.

Because the world vibe feels so unsettled, I find it hard to focus on celebration, joy and gift giving when so much seems to be wrong for so many. Like, I suspect, many of you, I have written many checks recently for donations to causes I support, but I can’t help feeling it’s never enough. I try to support a balance of conservation efforts, protection of wildlife, meals and warm clothing for families barely making ends meet, and scholarships for young people who otherwise would have no chance at higher education. I volunteer wherever I feel I can make a difference. I know teachers everywhere are doing their best to keep their students focused on being sensitive to others and engaged in meaningful actions.

But truthfully, I feel overwhelmed. Although I am happy to contribute to help others, I can’t help feeling there’s something fundamentally wrong with a society that expects individuals to make up for what it refuses to provide for those who are needy, and for programs, like energy conservation, that we all need to save the planet. We all know there’s enough money in this country to take care of all of us. So why do we have to play these cat and mouse games with peoples’ lives?

I know we have to hunker down and do what we think is right, and hopefully “this too, shall pass.” I’ve enjoyed several TWT posts lately like “Keep your head up,” which is about keeping the big picture always foremost in mind. And I really am looking forward to time well spent with close friends and relatives during the holidays. But I am very, very disappointed in the direction in which we seem to be heading as a nation.

‘Tis the season…. Friends, I’d love to hear your thoughts in response to that sentence starter.

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21 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season…”

    1. Thanks, as always, for your support. I don’t (yet) have an iphone, but perhaps I’ll look into using my daughter’s iphone to try out your suggestion. I am a great lover of haiku…just had one published in a haiku calendar! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season; thanks for sharing.

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  1. As I read and reread your post I couldn’t help but think now is the time to savor the day and enjoy each with those who matter. The world beyind the door will keep turning and we can and I believe ought to look out for those who are in need. But doing this need not remove us from the moments we spend with family.

    Peace to you in this season of joy and light and possibilities.

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    1. Yes, the world will keep turning, no matter what. And it is important to cherish family. I have done what I can for now for those in need, so it is time to turn inward and reenergize for the year ahead. Thanks for your message of peace.

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  2. This speaks to exactly what I have been feeling this year. This is it. My daughter and I were talking about the homeless people in our community, and mental illness, and how mental institutions were closed in the 80s and people turned out onto the streets. And I thought, “Who are we as a people that we do this to people. How can we feel good about ourselves when we do this?” And then, like you, I just keep turning back to what I personally can do, who I personally can connect with. It’s like Candide, by Voltaire. After the horrors of the Revolution, he came back to tend his garden. It feels like that’s all I can do.

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    1. So glad to hear I am not alone. With all the recent insanity, it’s great to know there are still some sensitive, sensible people out there. Probably more than we realize. I’ll be tending my garden for a while. Thanks for the connection,.

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  3. I wrote in a slightly different way, but also expressed my concerns, Barbara. It feels different to me, too, but I am taking a break for a couple of weeks so I can concentrate on celebrating with family and friends, take some time for myself, too, but still keep up with the news, the petitions, the world news. I won’t stop that. Hugs to you and all of us for stepping out of our comfort zone and making things different and better! Thanks for your concerned and thoughtful post.

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    1. I, too, am trying to give myself some space and time this month to enjoy the good things in my life. And I very much appreciate your part in providing a sense of community for me and others on this site. Still…those tweets are hard to ignore!

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      1. I won’t stop reading and participating in this strange chaos, but need to pull back for all those other needs. You’re welcome, Barbara. Have a wonderful day!

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  4. It does feel different, although I wonder if it is because we are “in the moment.” I think it is always important to keep an eye on ourselves as much as the world. One requires the other, and vice versa.
    Kevin

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    1. Interesting response. Having this site which affords us the opportunity to “air” our thoughts is certainly one way to “keep an eye on ourselves” in a supportive community. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

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  5. You are not alone in your thinking and you describe it so clearly. I’ve been reflecting more on how world problems have always been there and maybe it is finally my time to have lived long enough to finally see that it is my time to send a check to a cause and my time to voice concern. And it is the season to gather with friends and family and be thankful I have another day to care about what is right so I can keep pushing my nation to do better.

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    1. I share your thoughts about having lived long enough to feel it’s time to do something. The thing is…I have been doing that for a while, but this particular epoch will be a serious challenge to all of us do-gooders, won’t it?

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  6. Yes, the world is different. I think we all feel the way it has shifted and darkened since November. I think it’s possible to feel the joy of being together and celebrating the spirit of the holidays with those we love, and, at the same time, remaining vigilant about the larger world…and being engaged enough to preserve what we can.

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  7. You are definitely not alone. You wrote “Because the world vibe feels so unsettled, I find it hard to focus on celebration, joy and gift giving when so much seems to be wrong for so many.” But I believe that because the world vibe feels so unsettled, it is even more important to celebrate. Celebrate at home. go out and do good. That way LIGHT can vanquish the power of DARKNESS. I am currently knitting Pussyhats for the Jan 2017 March on Washington. I can’t be there, but I can knit a hat for someone who will be there speaking up for all women.

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  8. It made me smile to think of you sitting and knitting Pussyhats, so thanks for sharing that! It’s gonna’ take an enormous amount of light to vanquish this darkness which seems bent on deconstructing all the good that’s been accomplished in the last decade. But I will certainly contribute as much light as I can. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. These definitely are trying times and times when we need the closeness of family and friends more than ever. Like you, I have sent checks to charities I support and help out locally where I can. If we all take the time to be one small light in the darkness just think of how quickly the dark will vanish. I hope I can continue my small flame so it can ad to others.

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    1. You are definitely a small flame in my life every week when I read your post. Sounds like you’re doing whatever you personally can do. I am grateful, too, for family and friends…a safe haven.
      Thanks for sharing and respondine.

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  10. This certainly is a challenging time! For those reasons and some more personal ones, this is the most discouraged I have been at holiday time, but I’m trying my best to find my joy and spread it where I can! Thank you for sharing your important thoughts!

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    1. Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time personally. I guess we can focus on what is good in our lives in the weeks to come, and try to appreciate that we have some good in our lives. Good luck to you, and thanks for your response.

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