When I Think About Christmas

If you’re related to me, you know that my mom writes a Christmas letter every year–sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always succinct. Well, I’m an adult(ish) now, and merely a footnote on my mom’s letter because retirement is far more interesting than being a boring 30-something. I’m too lazy to send out Christmas cards to everyone I know, so I’m putting my personal Christmas letter out in a public forum instead.

When I think back on the year, I think about the once-in-a-lifetime experiences I had.

I saw (in person) Duke lose in the NCAA Tournament. As a #3 seed.

I touched Woolly Mammoth fur.

He suggested we do "super serious face."

He suggested we do “super serious face.”

I touched a hobbit. (And I didn’t shriek “Hobbitses!” at him, thank you very much. There was a definite risk of that happening.) Later that day I also accosted James Dashner in the street and gave him a hug. That was a good day.

I finished writing and editing a novel. And I wrote the first draft of a second novel. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I have news to share about the former in 2015.

But to be honest, mostly I mired in the tedium of being a gainfully employed adult with a 9-to-5 job. I’ve tried to reconcile that this is just how life goes, but I’ve failed at that reconciliation. Honestly, I’m glad I’ve failed.

When I think about holidays, I think of my family. I loved holidays as a kid. I still love them as an adult, because the only time I get to spend with my nuclear family is around Christmas. Though this year I did spend Selection Sunday with my parents, and that counts as a holiday for me.

I saw my mom and dad again over the 4th of July weekend. My mom and I went to see the fireworks in my hometown. There’s nothing like the 4th of July in a small town. Washington DC can keep its spectacular display of canned patriotism. I’ll take my one-firework-at-a-time and the oohing and aahing of families spread out on blankets on the grass in Commons Park any day.

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Any Road Will Get You There

[1] I don’t really understand New Year’s, but I do understand that there’s something in the switching of the calendar year that gives people hope, and maybe that’s why I do this every year.

There’s a shading technique artists use called chiaroscuro. It’s a blending of light to dark that gives two dimensional objects a three dimensional appearance. The word “chiaroscuro” has been in my head lately, and I’ve been thinking about the way things blend into each other.

Sadness into joy. Fear into hope. Light into dark.

The longer I live, the more I understand that life, the world, our relationships—it’s all a blending. Of people and ideas and life and values and things. My goal has always been to understand everything in the entire universe, which is silly, I know, but sometimes I do understand everything in the entire universe, which is also silly. But I do.

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