Holiday Spirit: Spreading the Cheer

It’s no secret December is my favorite month of the year.  From sparkling lights to the first snow fall, it’s a time full of holiday cheer.  I love it so much that I trade my bright pink lipstick for shades of red, too.

My love for the holiday season must have started from the very day I was born- December 22, on the evening of a big winter storm.  Three days later, my parents brought me home from the hospital in a bright red stocking- Christmas morning!  

I was very lucky to have a close-knit family.  I grew up next door to my grandparents and had wonderful traditions that made the holidays special.  Sadly, not everyone is as fortunate.  The holidays can be a very difficult time for some people- those who have lost family members, can’t afford gifts for their children, or won’t have anyone to spend the days with. 

There’s something magical about the holiday season that everyone deserves to experience.  The snow begins to fall and the world slows down.  The spirit of the season makes me feel love and promise for a happy new year.  As I see familys coming together, carollers singing, and people lending a hand to one another, I have restored hope for the world around us.

Although I won’t be able to spend Christmas with my family this year, I plan to enjoy the season with friends, neighbors, and even strangers.  Since I have the time, I decided to see what I can do to help spread cheer to those who may need a smile this season.

This year, let’s try and focus on love, not the stresses the holidays can bring.  Our society gets too caught up in spending money, giving gifts, and creating a “perfect” party or dinner for our family and friends to enjoy.  When we focus on the planning and let our anxiety take over, we let the actual moments pass us by.  

It’s important to put our lives into perspective this time of year.  Let’s think about what we can give, not what we can get.  Whether it’s donating toys, volunteering at a food bank, or visiting the elderly, there are countless options to help brighten someone’s holiday season, too.

Pick yourself up

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The holiday season has come and gone and a new year is upon us.

As December came to a close, I thought, “2016 wasn’t so bad.” I sat back for a moment and remembered the ups and downs; the times I felt lost, helpless and confused- but also how I felt when I picked myself back up.

This wasn’t a typical holiday season for me. I spent December 1st flying to Boston, my first week in Massachusetts interviewing for jobs, and my second week starting a new full-time role. While other people were busy preparing for Christmas, I was simply trying to get my life in order. Buying gifts, making holiday plans and traveling were the last things on my mind.

“I chose this life,” I kept reminding myself.

Moving to Boston was a gift in itself; after a hectic year I was ready for a fresh start. I’ve never been conventional, either. Traditions always gave me anxiety and social pressures made me avoid celebrations altogether. It’s not rare for me to spend the holidays away from my family… over the past eight years I’ve lived all over the country, far from the old traditions I grew up with.

That’s kind of how my whole life has been- an adventure and often a mystery. I’ve been searching for stability for the past few years, hoping to find my “niche” and place that feels like home. I have continually sought out people, places and things; but after things haven’t turn out how I’d hoped, I’ve learned to go with the flow.

I’ve also learned to be my own best friend.

As I am learning to be more mindful, I’ve come to realize the importance in staying positive and knowing that everything happens for a reason. Although I was lonely during the holidays, I used my free time to write and do the things I enjoyed. That time was used to make me stronger, prepare for the new year and learn that my own company is enough. Even after all the cross-country moves and times I have “started over,” it still takes time to accept that I won’t have a community overnight.

No matter what challenges you face, pick yourself back up and know that the best is yet to com. Even though I don’t know what 2017 has in store, I can’t wait to find out.

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Bachelorette

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Ah, another holiday weekend has passed.  Whether you spent it with family, friends, working, or enjoying the company of yourself, I hope it was as relaxing as mine was!

I joked the other day that I was having a Cat Lady Christmas, but after Bernice knocked over my coffee, dumped colored pencils into her litter box, and scratched a hole though my sweater, I decided it wasn’t a “cat lady” Christmas after all.

It’s a Bachelorette Christmas.

I ordered a pizza, breadsticks, and salad to prove it.

Could I picture having a pet to come home to every day?  No.  Am I responsible enough to clean up after it, play with it, take it to the vet, and be sure I actually do come home to feed it?  No.

I don’t remember the last time I bought actual groceries, unless you’re talking about pre-made dinners or odds and ends like cereal, almond milk, and yogurt.

Sure, I like pets… the same way I like kids.  I enjoy them for a period of time, but then I can give them back.  No, I am no cat lady.  I am not an old maid or a spinster, either.

I am a Bachelorette.

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Always seeking magic.

Let’s think about it for a minute.  While many women dream of white picket fences and starting a family, I dream of high rise apartments, writing a best-selling novel, solo vacations, and excitement.  While people are celebrating an engagement, marriage or new baby, I am celebrating moving to a new city, getting a new job or buying an expensive handbag.

Sure, those who are coupled-up celebrate these things, too- but they often do it together.  I do everything alone (and I love it).

I thought these things were a phase; that once I hit a certain age my nomadic life would be set aside and I would invest in starting a family.  That entails settling on a place to live, buying real furniture and putting someone else’s needs above (or equal to) mine. Hmmm.  I am not sure about that.

I enjoy my alone time, my career, writing and life experiences.  I’d absolutely love to find a partner who I can do those things with- or someone who would support me or live the same type of life I want.

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A gutsy girl, a bookworm. I am many things… but I will never be put in a box.

My American Dream is having a beautiful place in the city, a job I enjoy, the arts at my fingertips, enjoying amazing food and spending it with a loyal, supportive, loving partner.  I don’t have a desire for “stuff,” a car, 2.5 kids and dozens of people around me.

I want to live simply and happily- and I want someone who feels the same.

Over the past year I have begun to value minimalism, mindfulness and quality over quantity.  I never want to live in the suburbs and try to “keep up with the Jones’s,” nor can I picture getting married for the sake of getting married.  I won’t settle.

Until I find my own American Dream, I will consider myself a Bachelorette.  It’s a pretty good life, especially when you get to eat pizza on Christmas.

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Let Freedom Ring! 4th of July 2015.