Our Christmas lights went up the weekend before Thanksgiving, earlier than ever before.
I noticed that a few neighbors had lights up and my heart sang in response. Holiday lights added delight and I wanted more.
I also noticed that I couldn’t open a single email that had Thanksgiving in the subject line. As a writer, I follow a lot of writers; I’m on a lot of email lists, learning from and alongside other writers. I completely understand why they wrote about Thanksgiving – it’s timely and necessary. I’ve written about Thanksgiving many times. I keep a gratitude journal and I’m always on the lookout for hope, beauty, and joy, goodness in every shape and form.
So why my avoidance-response to others writing about gratitude? It took me a few days to realize that it felt overwhelming. So many emails, tucked in with all the Black Friday sales notices (delete/unsubscribe).
Lights, yes; all the emails pouring in at once, no.
I’m paying attention this year to what my heart wants and doesn’t. What I need, including what boundaries I need. We may want to think the pandemic is over and done with as more of us are out and about, but we – you, me, our communities, the whole planet – are not done with the lingering effects of these years. We may not be for a long while to come.
So let’s continue to listen to our internal dialogues and notice our reactions. Let’s tune into what sparks delight and what we avoid. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and others.
I’d love to hear what you’re finding delightful. Please share!
PS – apologies to my writerly friends whose emails I didn’t open. I’ll open the next one.
PPS – picture from our still-unfinished backyard project where my amazing husband decided to hang an extra string of lights – hooray!
PPPS – I’m offering a free, one-hour Advent journaling workshop this Sunday, December 4, 2:30pm PST, via zoom. We will use the spiritual practice of lectio divina and writing as a tool to guide our reflections on what God has in store for us during this season. If you’d like to join me, email me at email@example.com and I will send you the zoom link.