Wednesday, December 14, 2016
At Facebook, there are always posts about whether it should be Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Saying Merry Christmas is supposedly making an important politically correct statement-- opposed to someone who says Happy Holidays who, of course, also thinks they have made an important, politically correct statement. Is it any wonder our culture is so confused?
Christmas is both a religious, secular and pagan celebration. Its time of the year is as an alternative to other religions (something the Catholic Church regularly did) with their celebrations at the same time, like Saturnalia. For some, this is their most important family/friends/church time of the year; for others it's a heartbreaking reminder of what they don't have. Because of the expectations for this celebration, there is a lot of pressure.
This year, because partly of how upsetting the recent Presidential election has been for many Americans, the season of joy and good will for all is even harder to get a handle on. The extreme resentment of the side that just lost the Presidency will make January not the new start that is often thought happens when a year is turned over.
As one of the seasonal things I do this month, related to the new year and not the coming holidays, I ordered our new calendars with one arty, one fly fishing, and one philosophical. I very much enjoyed my Simplicity calendar for 2016 and look forward to the next year's version-- Simplicity 2017.
For many years, I'd take this time to put together goal statements. In 2000, I created an ideal day for what I wanted my life to be. I have to say that ideal day still works for me, but only in the dream sense. I don't live it. As for all those goal statements, I usually wouldn't look at them during the year but would when it came to year's end. Mostly I'd tweak them and use them again. I don't think in terms of an ideal day anymore nor do I make goal statements. I think of where I am, what I am doing, what I want to do, but none of it's that ideal day or the dream cabin. I think somewhere along the way I lost the idea of ideal and settled for good enough...
The cabin, which I digitally painted above, was part of that ideal day with it being in a snowy woods, a small ranch but not on a main road and closer to wilderness. Frankly, that's more unrealistic now at 73 than it was at 57. After 2001, a lot of things changed, and we are still seeing the ramifications of that today in our world and the world beyond us. Simplicity is ever harder to attain. Maybe it's the new goal for many of us-- keep it simple, stupid... of course, the word stupid also very politically incorrect.