Why Thanksgiving is Pointless

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Most of us have our favorite holiday. Or we have the one that our family does “bigger” than the rest. People get together and show each other more love on these favorite holidays. Food is always the showstopper and family conversations fill up every room.

I like all holidays. From Easter to the 4th of July, I love dressing up and having any reason to celebrate. Not everyone can relate, but I have had a good time celebrating life every chance that I get.

Thanksgiving is different. There are no bunnies or Santa Clauses representing the day. With the exception of pilgrims and Indians, there really are no mascots. There are pumpkins involved as if Halloween was never forgotten. It’s all pretty confusing. It’s even gotten to the point where some people don’t even know the history behind it.

Thanksgiving is pretty pointless if you ask me. Who even likes pumpkin pie and turkey with mashed potatoes?  Why give thanks when life is so hard? Why surround yourself with people who just happen to share DNA with you? Why surround yourself with people who you have learned to call family?  Why celebrate a day whose message has gotten lost throughout the years?

I don’t know, but I sure love pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and turkey. Above all, I love all my blood relatives and the many people who I’ve decided to call family throughout the years.

I can honestly say Thanksgiving is pointless because of the fact that I give thanks for all I have every single day. But I sure love having an excuse to come together to stuff our faces and talk about all that matters to us.

My family does Thanksgiving in a big way. It is probably the biggest holiday for us. We all get together and bring too much food so we can all go home with five extra plates in our hands. My cousins and I have always had fun sitting at the “kid” table while the adults talk about their own nonsense at the “adult” table.

This year I am thankful for more than ever. My mother is healthy after a difficult year. My sister made it to 21, and my Dad is loving the retired life. I have finally found my dream job, own a beautiful house and car, and recently got a baby Bengal kitten with my love. Not only that but the first book I helped write got published and printed this week!

I didn’t get here without being thankful for my blessings each day. Today is pointless but meaningful. It marks a great moment in time for me and my family. I am still growing up and am so thankful that my support system is alive and well. I have so much love in my life and heart that it hurts and things cannot get any better than this.

We must be thankful each day. We must regularly call our loved ones to just say, “I love you.” We must not judge those people or things that we do not understand. We must understand that with gratitude comes greatness. Life without gratitude can really be underwhelming. I choose to live a life full of meaning, gratitude, and love.

What do you choose to live by?

 

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

 

My Reaction To The SoCal Fire

fire, socal, anaheim hills, burn, cloud,dark,oc, orange county, talk, neighbor, spirit, orange, anaheim, tustin, freeway, 91 freeway, love,reaction, community, listen, cry, tears, sadness, heartI woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face. I mean, my boyfriend just presented a gorgeous engagement ring to me. Things are looking up for me. I finally got the job I have always dreamed of, I can’t complain.

I drove to work super excited about what this last full week at my current job would bring. I want to finish strong and never falter, I thought. Just as was getting lost in my many selfish thoughts, I drove through what seemed like an amber cloud, except this cloud had no end.

It was early in the morning but the sky was dark and haunting.

We had a fire recently so it looked like a bit of deja vu. I thought maybe there was a different explanation, maybe a residual effect of the recent eclipse? I mean, what else could it be?

I kept driving. I decided not to worry. It was much too early on a Monday to worry about anything.

I got to my first stop of the day and my phone started ringing. It was a coworker. He told me to be careful because there was a huge fire in the middle of my usual Monday route. I froze. Another fire? Seriously? When will all of this chaos end?

I went about my day as normal as possible doing my best to avoid the forbidden 91 East freeway. I thought of the most strategic way to get to where I needed to go. It was a success, I encountered very little traffic.

All was well until I got on the 91 West freeway. I couldn’t believe how fluid the freeway was around 3 pm on a holiday. Woohoo! But then I saw it. I saw a huge black cloud of smoke ahead of me. As I approached the cloud, I looked to my left and saw flames much taller than myself taking over the mountain I so often drive next to.

Suddenly traffic didn’t matter, suddenly I didn’t even matter.

I have to admit I admire nature but I am not a tree hugger. No matter what I am or what I am not, I stared straight into the eye of the fire and burst into tears. It was overwhelming. The fire was literally a few feet away from me.

I kept driving and the flames were endless. My tears shed because of all the people who might be affected by this. My tears shed because it hurt to see such beautiful land go up in flames.

I so often take this long strip of nature for granted. I drive next to it often yet think nothing of it. I just expect it to always be there. Today I realized it will not always be there, and even if it is, it was forever changed today.

I called as many loved ones as I could. I told them I loved them. I told them I was safe. I did what I should do every single day regardless of nature’s wrath. This fire reminds me that everything can literally change in a matter of seconds. People have lost all of their memories and sense of safety today.

To all those affected:

My heart breaks with yours. I am sorry you have had to endure such a loss and/or trauma. And while things might seem irreparable right now, remember that your spirit can never be broken. Remember that you are a part of a larger community and that you are and will never be alone. If you need to talk, reach out to me, I am always here to listen. If not me, reach out to your fellow neighbor.

And to the brave responders and volunteers: I am sending you all of my love and strength, thank you for all of your heart, bravery and hard work. You are changing the course of history as we speak.

Today was not the best of days for many, but let’s all make sure to make tomorrow better by letting all those around us know they matter and that we care.

Love Always and Forever,

Karen

Why It’s So Hard To Let Go Of Your Past 

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I am a happy person. I smile 90 percent of the day. I have all the things I have ever wanted. I am the woman I thought I could be someday.

I have it all.

Has it been easy? Well, that goes without saying… nothing good comes easy. In order to get the rainbow you must first get the storm, that’s for certain.

I was thinking about my past today. A lot of it is beautiful but a lot of it is extremely ugly and painful.

Lyrics get me. They cut me to the core and remind me of my past scars. Think about your past, think about your scars.

Are there some things you wish ended up differently? Are there some people you just miss even though they have already served their purpose? Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night forgetting who you are or mourning the person you once were?

Yea, that’s the human condition. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always simple and/or understandable but it is all we have.

I think of a girl who really hurt herself and others years ago and I sometimes even talk to her. I sometimes yell at her.

What the hell were you thinking?!

Why did you let another person define you?

Nostalgia comes with certain songs and places. Today, I am so proud that girl from the past is gone but she’s not forever erased, that’s for sure.

I used to be worse. I used to obsess over the past constantly which quickly led to depression and anxiety. It’s easy to obsess over the past when your present is not what you want.

I love my present but my past still seems to come up. It always will. It’s part of the puzzle that makes me up.

I used to blame others for my circumstance. I now understand I was really just upset with myself. I used to blame my past for my present but now I understand everything really does happen for a reason.

Could I be the extremely happy person I am today without becoming the horrible person I was some years ago? Could I appreciate all that surrounds me had I not detested and protested it in my past?

It’s hard to let go of the past because it distracts you from your present. The past can paralyze you if you let it.

It’s weird but I sometimes miss the ugliness of my past. There’s something beautiful about something so tragic. But I regress. I am a writer, I love writing about pain and human conditions.

I quickly have to remember how beautiful my life and my present is today. It’s great to write about all of it now, but do I really miss it?

Probably not.

I probably miss being so tormented because I had excuses for everything back then. I no longer do. My happiness depends on me. It doesn’t depend on my past or my merits, it depends on who and what I want to be today, right now.

So why is it so hard to let go of your past? It’s hard because it’s something else to concentrate on, it’s hard to let go of the past because sometimes the present isn’t exactly how you want it to be.

How about you figure out what can make you happy today by changing your current situation versus blaming your past circumstance?

It’s so easy to hold onto the past because of the fact that it already happened.  We can’t really analyze the future, can we?

It’s hard to let go of the past because of the fact that it’s like a movie you feel can be changed.

In reality you are who you are today because of the past that makes you you and there’s no need to there’s no reason to hold on to it like a crux. Instead, look at it as a piece of the bigger picture.

I know it’s easier said than done, but in order to fully enjoy the present moment, you must let go of the past.

Like I said, I still think about my past sometimes but there’s no need to obsess over it. I do not need to look back on it like it could have been changed. 

It becomes the game of what could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, might’ve, been, and that game is one nobody ever wins.

It’s not easy to move on from painful experiences but I do know there’s the possibility for every single human being to heal. Sometimes we need outside resources to help us do this and sometimes we can simply find healing within ourselves.

I know I am no longer a victim of my past but a warrior of my future.

 

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen