The turkey and dressing are gone for 2020 and the Christmas trees and lights are going up around the neighborhoods. Robert and I ventured to the WNC Farmer’s Market today to purchase a Christmas tree for our own home. The premises were hustling and bustling with activity! We found the perfect North Carolina grown fir tree and had a lovely conversation with the farm owner and tree caretakers.
In a recent conversation with my seven-year old Grandson, he stated that we may have to cancel some of Christmas this year due to Corona-virus. I was saddened to think his young mind was considering the prospect. I informed him that WE would NOT be canceling Christmas at our house! Later that day, my mind went to one of the most unhappiest Christmas seasons I experienced. Instantly, I felt a flood of gratitude and appreciation for how much better my life is now. And I am grateful for the lessons learned in that long-ago experience. The Stoic philosophy says gratitude for every experience is the key to robust mental health.
True happiness comes from recognizing things we are grateful for in our nation and in this world. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation ever has grown; but we have forgotten God! We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
In your self-reflection this holiday season, remember there is a force greater than ourselves. And remember to look at the nation and world situation, examine it, and then make the conscious decision about how to respond in the best possible way. Even in hardship we can be grateful for the lessons learned. So breathe deeply, exhale slowly, and prepare your body and mind for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2021.