So I was in Macy's today (1) trying to walk off a sore back and (2) looking for flannel sheets.
Right by the escalators they had this desk where kids could write and post their letters to Santa.
I started thinking about what I'd want as a wish or a gift this holiday season (I'm an atheist, so I don't really have Christmas or Channukah wishes, but my dad is Catholic and quite traditional). I thought about the things that have brought me joy and pain over the past year. I thought about the people who I love the most. I thought about strangers.
And really... all I could come up with is that I wish everyone had the gift of the epiphany that I had. It has made such a difference in my life. It doesn't matter whether you're fat, you're skinny, tall, short, wealthy, poor, smart, not-so-smart, love yourself or don't. I think the most important gift anyone can ever receive is the universe's permission to occupy a time and a space, and to do with that time and space things that enlarge the joys of living.
John Keats asked for his epitaph to be "Here lies one whose name was writ in water." In other words, we're all impermanent. Most of what we do or say, and the memories of those things, will not live on after we cease to live. Very few of us get to leave meaningful and lasting evidence that we existed on this world. For someone to feel like they matter is a very temporal and heady thing. It's an acknowledgment that right now is all we have, right now is all we can possibly hope to control. To choose to matter or to live deeply in any moment is an extraordinary choice of presence.
So this is my wish for all that read my blog, and for the people in my life that don't: While I'm not the universe, I do want to pass on the beautiful sentiment that was gifted to me back in April -- it's okay to take care of yourself in a meaningful and lasting way. Actually, it's more than okay to do so--you should feel no guilt, no shame, no hesitancy in honoring your time on this planet.
This year while you're celebrating a holiday, the darkest day of the year, or the beginning of a new year, while you celebrate your friendships and your familial bonds, and celebrate traditions old and new, please take a moment to celebrate yourself.