Gimme that old time religion or not…

I’m not a religious person, but I am one who loves the rituals of Judaism.  So, I love to light the candles during Chanukah.  It keeps me connected to my family, to my childhood, to thousands of years of tradition.  And there’s nothing more serene than candles burning in a menorah.  And it’s pretty!

It’s also a good way to be reminded of what this time of year is actually about.  Everyone is running around, trying to get everything done, buying gifts, making travel arrangements, fulfilling obligations, running, running, running.  We get so caught up in the frenetic activity that we rarely ever stop and think about what we are doing.  Whether you are religious or not, whether you believe in a deity (or many) or not, I’ve always thought that this time of year is important, but in a far different way than we’ve come to relate to it.

It’s about giving, but it doesn’t have to be about spending.  It’s about family and friends, but it doesn’t have to be about obligation.  It’s about enjoying oneself, but not about forced merriment. It’s about the turning of the season and the renewal of a brand new year, but it shouldn’t be the only time we reflect or make changes in our lives for the better.   Celebrating the season should be about all of those things that so easily roll off the tongue when we think about this time — joy and peace on earth and good will towards men and miracles — but we should think about what those things truly mean, rather than the cliche of them.

I write this as much as a reminder to myself as anything else.  And with that reminder, I’m trying to take each day of this holiday season to reflect and enjoy and to be open to the possibilities of the new year…

Taking the Guilt out of Guilty Pleasures…

 

Theoretically, I have many guilty pleasures:

The thing is that none of them make me feel guilty.  I find joy in small things and I like that I can find it in things that are pedestrian, cheesy, and sappy, not just in those things that are intellectual and cultured.  It makes me a more well-rounded person.  It also makes me better in trivia contests!

When it comes to guilty pleasures, I’d say that the only ones that actually give me any guilt feelings at all are my junk food indulgences — Taco Bell’s Soft Taco Supreme, Burger King’s Whopper with Cheese, Tim Horton’s Timbits.  But this has nothing to do with my unsophisticated choice of cuisine, but my feelings about food and weight in general. It’s bad for me, it’s unhealthy, but it tastes delicious, so I eat it anyway.  I really just need to separate out the guilt from the pleasure.  If I only indulge once in a while, there’s no reason to feel badly.

The lesson for me is that guilt is overrated.  Life’s short.  Indulge (even if only occasionally) in the things that make you happy!

Here we go again…

I decided since it’s that time again and since I am trying to be more proactive about writing and since I’m unemployed…again…that I would participate in Holidailies.  So here I am.  It’s a little bit pathetic that this site has been dormant since I last participated, in 2008.  I don’t make formal resolutions, because I feel like it sets you up for failure and it’s better to make commitments to change when you come to an appropriate moment, rather than just at the beginning of the year. However, I am starting Holidailies with the idea in mind that I need to write for myself more regularly, so I figure that by the time it’s over and the New Year rolls around, I’ll be in the habit of writing, and will continue to do it more regularly.  Method to my madness, I guess.

And because I just can’t do anything halfway, I’ve decided to also participate in #reverb10, thanks to Nels.  But, I’ll be doing that on Girl in Gotham Designs, and my focus will be on my jewelry design, ceramics, and other artsy endeavors.  Maybe I’ll post a few of those on holidailies.reddit.com as well.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, Happy Holidailies…