A lovely holiday weekend so far, and having to work for a couple of hours in the morning today hasn’t seemed to be a significant downer, so far. My coffee is tasty, well-made, and hot – but also just the right temperature to drink. I’ve been sleeping well, and today woke with very little pain – a relief after yesterday’s more-than-usually painful morning.

I spent Thanksgiving alone; my traveling partner was in too much pain to cross town for the holiday meal. I was prepared for that, having planned the meal from a solitary perspective in the first place. It sucked more that he was in pain than any disappointment he wasn’t attending dinner, honestly. I have never experienced a solitary Thanksgiving meal, and eagerly embraced the spirit of the holiday, even enjoying the holiday cooking, and clean up very nearly as much as the meal itself – which turned out wonderfully. I had wondered if there would be something inescapably blue about Thanksgiving alone. There doesn’t seem to be anything inherently sad or blue about a solitary Thanksgiving. I invested in good self-care practices throughout the day, and treated myself well – I wholly enjoyed the holiday, and enjoyed a festive, celebratory meal. I have a lot to be grateful for in a life worth celebrating.

Before the cooking, a long walk in the chill autumn air.

Before the cooking, a long walk in the chill autumn air.

It was delightful to stay in contact with my traveling partner throughout the day, small conversations about the meal, about the day, about our experience together, sharing photographs and links to things we found relevant or amusing. There is so much technology available now that can connect us more closely, if we choose to use it that way.

Love, challenges, and sharing the journey; there are still verbs involved.

Love, challenges, and sharing the journey; there are still verbs involved.

I woke yesterday considering taking advantage of the beautiful day to take a long hike…then I tried to stand up. So. No hiking was going to happen yesterday – I’d feel fortunate at day’s end if I had been able to do dishes, and dress for the day. I definitely wasn’t going anywhere. I don’t do “Black Friday” shopping, so I wasn’t missing anything in that regard, but it sucked to hurt so badly I couldn’t even consider a hike, or a walk in the sunshine.

I took my time and I took care of myself with care. Yoga happened – slowly, a few minutes at a time, one posture, or another, carefully growing to two, three, more – by mid-day I was more flexible and in less pain. I happily undertook the holiday decorating; the tree fits my apartment! It ended up being a day spent wonderfully well, and ended with a state of contentment quite beyond any words I could share. It’s been a couple of years since I have been able to enjoy an utterly drama-free holiday – but it has been, so far, and it is quite wonderful. There’s been very little stress at all, and none of that at home. “Magical” seems a good description for the holiday season so far… although… it’s hardly fair to begin labeling things two days into it… only… perhaps going into it with wide-eyed wonder, and a perspective of joy, is the best start I could give it?

Choosing joy, and enjoying small pleasures.

Choosing joy, and enjoying small pleasures.

I’d throw more words at you about choices and perspective and verbs; I would be repeating myself. I will say I am reasonably certain, based on other prior life experiences, that I could have chosen to wallow in my insecurities and doubts all day on Thursday, and blown my Thanksgiving holiday experience invested in personal sorrow, mired in chaos and damage. I chose differently – and did so well before the holiday arrived, committing my planning and intention to enjoying the holiday from a new perspective, seeking the value in the differences with openness and enthusiasm. There were verbs involved. There was a requirement to let go of attachment to expectations built on other experiences, and there was also a need to reach for the pleasant qualities, the joy, the values, and to willfully savor the celebration. The outcome was a worthy and quite wonderful holiday. It was not relevant that I was alone; it was one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve been fortunate to enjoy. I learned some things about solitude – and about loneliness – from small adjustments to my perspective.

Today is another adventure, a new one. What will the day hold? I consider the hours of the day that will remain ahead of me when I leave the office… It is a Saturday, a holiday weekend, and there are some holiday touches that haven’t been handled. I need a new wreath for the front door. The one I had, until the move, was specifically selected for the house we all shared, and doesn’t at all suit my current decor, the aesthetic of the neighborhood, or the size of my entry way. This is such a small place – between the lack of storage and the likelihood of spiders moving into any wreath I might hang, I have already decided to put up a wreath of fresh materials that won’t be stored for re-use. A simple fragrant pine wreath of some sort seems ideal, and I find myself wondering if a trip to Saturday Market after work would be fun…

There will be a festive glow to welcome me home in the evening.

There will be a festive glow to welcome me home in the evening.

There are so many simple joys in life. When I am able to approach each day from the perspective of embracing those simple pleasures, simple experiences, and simple moments of beauty, rather than focusing on how to endure the challenges life may present, the joys seem to become more plentiful over time. Today is a good day for joy. Today is a good day to smile at strangers. Today is a good day to be kind, to show compassion, and to remember how very human we each are. Today is a good day to change the world.