I want to take the time to wish everyone a happy holiday/winter break season. It’s a wonderful time dedicated to family and friends. It’s also a dangerous time on the streets, so please be careful.
Merry Christmas to my Christian friends! I hope you have lots of delicious food, enjoy midnight service, and, of course, enjoy the gifts that your friends and family have picked for you.
Channuka Sameach to my Jewish friends. I know we’re in the middle of it, but it is still the holiday of light. And again, I hope you eat incredibly delicious food. I was in Israel for a couple of Shabbas’ and the food blew my mind, it was so yummy. I hope your gifts rock and the spirit of the holiday keeps you smiling into and all through the New Year!
Happy Holidays to my Muslim friends and friends of every other persuasion. I know November had a very important holiday for the Muslims and I know uri chingus had a good one filled with crazy family adventures, new clothes, delicious food (are you seeing a pattern here?), and wonderful celebration.
Enjoy the holidays and the break, however short or long it may be.
Personally, I’m grateful for several things this year. I really like to reflect on what I’m thankful for because we tend to forget these things in the daily events of our lives.
1) Health and family: My disabled aunt with MS came to live in Florida just four blocks from us. She lived with us for three weeks and it was then I realized how fortunate I am to have good health. I am able to walk, and see, and hear, and do many other things for myself that many can’t. It also made me realize how lonely she’d been living in Hawaii by herself. I’ve been living with my parents and siblings and enjoying everything about them.
My aunt said at Thanksgiving, “I never thought I’d be happy to hear the words “pass the salt”.” If you think about that, it’s shocking how much we take for granted. I will never say “pass the salt” again without feeling grateful.
2) Work: In this economy as an artist, I have plenty of work. I teach, I gig, I’m in a band, I have the money to purchase sheet music, audio music and materials to arrange my own tunes. I have the money to give myself luxuries like eating out, buying myself random gifts, taking care of a precious animal, treating my family on occasion, going out with my friends, traveling. I love my work and I make a bit of money doing that. I know I have it good. I’m thankful for that.
3) My cat: This may seem silly, but me and my cat have this incredible bond. We look for each other every day. Every day I think he’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Every day I wake up at 5am to feed him (and then promptly go back to sleep). Nothing I do for him seems like a chore, even cleaning his litter box. He always makes me smile, he makes my family smile and I finally understand how a pet is family. He’s more than a pet, he really is my baby. Thank you Timmy for coming to me.
4) Music: I tried to give up music once in high school. I’m pretty smart and I really love school and studying. I was in junior year and I wanted to get straight A’s to get into college so I quit cello and piano to study. I got straight A’s and into 6 of my 7 schools, but I was not happy. I was really depressed. As soon as the school year was over, I picked up the cello and I was PERFECTLY FINE. I never made that mistake again. I’m thankful for my exquisite hearing, my work in music, my love of music, my abilities in music, the wonderful, wide world of music and being able to share it with other people.
5) My parents: As I get older, I really realize how much they give. They weren’t just parents out of obligation, but wonderful parents by choice. They give me so much in love, discipline, education, materialistically, and support. I work for my dad who is patient with all the days I have to take off for music, I talk with my mother who helps me through my problems. They suffered through my HORRIBLE temper for so many years. Thanks mommy and daddy. You’re the best.
There is more, but that’s the crux of it.