(Russian River, California)
I want to share my holiday and year-end greetings with all of you, the people who I’ve met in person in the U.S., my home country, in my travels all over the world, and in internet communities. I treasure the relationships we have created and the diversity and richness you’ve brought to my life.
It has been a difficult year for me in some ways such as watching some of the government (I am American) systematically quash non-whites and non-males, losing a lot to the tax bill, and having my country attempt to isolate itself from the world it is so very much a part of. (I generalize. Nitpicking is for another post.) We’ve lost a human being who happened to be a beloved celebrity and idol (we miss you, Jonghyun!), but that’s also opened up a conversation about mental health and why this man felt inadequate. A human being shouldn’t be measured by their successes, but by the intrinsic value of human life and we need to share that. Sure, he was greatly successful in terms of creative output, but more than that, he fostered relationships with the people close to him and with his fans, and I feel so similar to him in that way with my friends all over the world.
In this time when we are to be celebrating joy, birth, liberation, and a new year, it may be difficult to be happy. But I think a moment’s respite to spend time with people you love is re-charging and very much needed. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about world events, issues close to you, or the deaths of loved ones. It does mean you are taking care of yourself and filling yourself with fuel, with love, to start anew and tackle what needs tackling. It would be great if happiness was a guaranteed part of the holiday emotional spectrum, but, if you’re not feeling happy, that’s okay. Feel what you need to feel. But during this time, please take care of you. You are important and your feelings are valid.
I say this in light of the holidays because, in our world, that’s when we purposefully come together. At the same time, remember to randomly come together and celebrate friendships and relationships and family. And yourself. When you take care of you, it’s so much easier to give to others. And if you have the ability to do so, that’s a blessing. Some people don’t have the chance.
I, for one, am going to enjoy the happiness of being with my family back in the U.S. and the joy of receiving holiday greetings from countries all over the world. I feel blessed to be able to do so. I might be shedding more than a few tears while doing it, but that’s okay.
I notice on my social media feeds that I vacillate between talking and re-posting things about K-pop, SHINee, now Jonghyun, Korean drama, treatment of all people as people, taxes, shootings, my dislike of the man in the White House’s behavior, South Korea, and the holidays, and I think it’s such an interesting mix. All these things make up who I am and it makes me think how wonderfully diverse all of you are.
As I close out my rambling, I’d like to invite you to share your thoughts on the year, good and bad, or whatever you’d like to say. Happy holidays. I, for one, hope you all find a little something to make you feel joy. Perhaps the kitty picture below.
Happy Chanukah! (ended the 20th!)
Happy New Year!
~Lisa AKA Raine
(Kitty kisses for you! Love, Timmy and Momo)