Thanksgiving Lessons

November 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

The holiday weekend is over, and now that I’m back in the relative coziness of my own apartment I thought it might make sense to reflect on some of what I learned over Thanksgiving this year.

1. There’s a part of being around my family that makes me feel like a kid – I tend to feel more off balance and that I have a shorter temper than I do normally. I don’t know if it’s just that my family knows my buttons and pushes them (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) or if it’s just really hard to escape entrenched dynamics, but the change is real. I think an area I can really improve as a person is being as generous with my family (and myself!) during these times as I am with other people normally. None of that is to say that I don’t love my family or like being around them, but there’s definitely a change that happens in me during the holidays.

2. Improvement is real, but it is also incremental. I started running a little over a year ago, and last year’s Clark County Turkey Trot was my first real race. I did the 10K last year as well, but ended up having to walk a good chunk of it. I ended up somewhere in the 1:15 range – can’t recall exactly. I ran a 1:02 this year, which is better, but I could have gone much faster if I had been more consistently running. The part of me that is inclined to give excuses will point to me being sick and having some knee pain, but overall it was a disappointment as I was hoping to run closer to 55 minutes. I’ve done 10Ks before under an hour, so this was a bit of a bummer. On the flip side I ran the entire time, and I could feel the things that were holding me back were temporary. If I can get the gumption to run more consistently in the cold, the wet, and the dark this winter I can see myself starting to make some real improvements.

3. I have so much to be thankful for! In no particular order: friends (especially, though not limited to, Kyle, Danny, Kristin, Stu, Michael & Sara, Leila, Matt, Daniel, Katie, Jacob, Nick, Lindsey), family, my health, my occasional forays into being a pretty solid human being, living in the future and all the ways that I can communicate with people, great music, my VISTA service, coworkers, and our students, puns, sports and all the passion they stir in me, karaoke, and many more things that I will refrain from listing so as to not go overboard.

4. I am the undisputed champion of the N64 in our household. Haven’t played Mario Tennis in a decade? Doesn’t matter – aces for days. Did not lose a match of Super Smash Brothers to either of my siblings. There’s little practical use here, but as far as pride and bragging rights go I’m gonna go ahead and indulge.

5. Life is better when the Seahawks win. Can we storm back and claim the NFC West? It’s a difficult road ahead, but we’re getting healthy at the right time. The team seems motivated to win, and we haven’t turned the football over in a month. I’ve been a fan too long to be TOO optimistic, but I’m encouraged by what I have seen. We’re right in the thick of things, and who doesn’t love whooping the 49ers in primetime? Extra shoutout to the Blazers, who have made paying attention to basketball in greater detail super fun so far this season.

6. I don’t fit at the kids table or the adult table, really. I imagine that’s fairly typical, but it was extra apparent on Noodle Day (the bonus holiday on the day after Thanksgiving, for those of you who are unfamiliar) when it was people my mother’s age and older and my sister’s age and younger, and me. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the situation – people can only be who (and what age) they are – but it fits a theme in my life where I feel like I am consistently the only person (or one of a few) in my early 20s everywhere I go. At times it feels a little isolating, especially after living so long in a college town where literally everyone was around my age. It is what it is – a continuation of a theme.

7. I listened to the entirety (thus far) of Serial this weekend. I could potentially have used that time to sleep or be productive, but I have no regrets. You should listen to it. My friend Leila kept at me for weeks about it, and she was absolutely (and unsurprisingly) totally right that it’s gripping. People are doing some amazing things with the medium.

8. As a society, we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. As a person I’ve come a long way, but I still have oceans to cross. I have so much to learn, so much to improve upon, and so much to grow. There are a thousand uncertainties that are waiting to grow clear, and as many more questions waiting to pile on top of those answers.

I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on where I am, and to be able to look ahead to where I might go next. It’s fun to be a work in progress when it’s not terrifying.

I’ll close with a quote I saw recently that I liked:

“In the end, when our eyelids find their infinite darkness, you will know that our bodies were tiny universes, and that I loved you with a thousand seas.” –Christopher Poindexter

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