Thursday, December 5, 2013

Look At the Sky

We had our second annual Friendsgiving a couple weekends ago, and we did good. It was quite the trio of celebratory events: giving thanks, Octavio's 22nd birthday, and Miley Cyrus's 21st. And I guess we can celebrate the fact that we finally have a decent picture of the four of us smiling. We're lucky to have Carlos around with his actual camera so this page isn't filled with grainy iPhone pictures.  Barrett was asleep and missed out on the stair-sitting fun, but he made sure to let us know he was thinking of us later when he graced us with his groggy presence during a grand game of Cards Against Humanity. 
I have big plans for more pie making and cookie cutting, along with walking the streets in a peacoat and scarves. Hoping those activities can make it actually feel like the holidays are here, despite the fact that we're all making huge dents in our Christmas shopping. Supposed to be branching into the 50s this week, so here's hoping I can see my breath one of these days! I think I might be the only one hoping for some chills, but we live in southern California, so we'll be getting warm temperatures in just a couple months. Let us appreciate the crispiness in the air and flaky dry skin, at least for a couple weeks. 
I read The Giver yesterday for the first time since I was 11. Their world is without color and love, and obviously reading that is supposed to make me stop and think, "Wow, I take those things for granted." And that's what I did. That's what we do. And then a few days ago I watched a TED talk about a man working on a project called "Happiness Revealed." It holds themes similar to the ones I was thinking about in The Giver, the idea that we walk around wrapped up in our own little place, not truly looking at anybody or anything. The elderly man in the project states, "Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open. That incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather...we just think of good weather and bad weather. But this day, right now, has unique weather. Maybe a kind that will never exactly come in that form again. The formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same that it is right now. Open your eyes, look at that. Look at the faces of people whom you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face...Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us. There is electric light, you turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water and drinkable water. It's a gift that millions and millions in the world will never experience...Open your heart to all these gifts. Let them flow through you. Then everyone who you will meet on this day will be blessed by you. Just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch. Just by your presence. Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then it will really be a good day." We all know I'm not one for the phrase "blessings," but thinking about this made me define blessings just as the good stuff. I think this excerpt holds true to the feelings we have during this weird and beautiful season, even if we're only conscious of feeling this thankfulness when carving a turkey or unwrapping a bowed gift. Or maybe some of us aren't really conscious of these feelings until later when we're in bed. At least we're sometimes thinking them, and hopefully we can begin to battle it out within ourselves to start feeling that gratefulness every single day. 

Had enough of my inspirational sappiness? 


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