December, and especially the Winter Solstice, seems like a good time for reflection to me. With cooler temperatures, I want to stay home and curl up with a good book. Or write some poetry. I never get to do that, but it’s nice dreaming about it. 😉

I know this time of year can be very difficult for some people. There are people who are grieving or dealing with anxiety, or they are lonely, or any number of things. I am glad I have experienced these things so that I can understand other people’s suffering….at least to a point. I can never truly understand someone else because we all handle Life very differently.

I know there’s a lot of depressing and anxiety-ridden current affairs too. I find it very hard to listen to the news, but I try to keep up with it as much as I can. As I study history with my boys, I have found countless, other troubled times. In fact, there’s no point in history when someone or some group isn’t suffering. I hope someday that we can truly minimize suffering in this world, but I also know that nothing ever stays the same. As the saying goes, “This too shall pass.” Good will come. Bad will come. Contentment will come. Frustration will come. Highs. Lows. You can’t have one without the other. It’s important to do what we can to make the world a better place, but it does no good to hold too tightly to any ideal.

I feel very grateful that I’m in a good place right now. I will appreciate it for as long as it lasts. While not everything is perfect, I remind myself that there is no such thing as perfect. It all has to do with my perspective.

I try to remember that there are things that transcend all disagreements or gloomy days. For me, these have universal appeal, and I think the world would be a better place, if everyone focused on them a little more. But maybe your list is a little different than my list. That’s okay. In the end, our lists, our goals, and our lives are all very similar. (Different, but similar….I remember my college professor saying that.)

Here’s my list:

  1. Kids.
  2. Birds.
  3. Dogs. (Or any kind of pet or animal.)
  4. Music, especially classical.
  5. Birds.
  6. Dessert. (Whichever is your favorite.)
  7. Good books.
  8. Nature. Get out into it more!
  9. Birds. (You can never spend too much time birdwatching! It’s very good for your mental health!)
  10. Kindness. Just be kind to everyone you meet. In the end, we all pretty much want the same things out of life. We get too caught up in how to make those things happen when it’s really not that complicated.

Maybe you can add something to this list?

A very, rare, shared photo of me. But sometimes I should probably show my face. 🙂 Have a Happy Winter Solstice and Happy Holidays.

Happy Winter Solstice!

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My five-year-old and I made winter solstice trees today with branches, twigs and paper snowflakes. My eight-year-old decided to make a mossy swamp tree! There is moss on its bark and Spanish moss hanging from the limbs (the dried strings of glue were left there on purpose). It even has a dead branch underneath it with red mushrooms growing on it! I love how he gets these crazy ideas and just goes with it!

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Five-year-old’s tree is on the left. Mine on the right.

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Close up of eight-year-old’s “swamp solstice tree.” LOL

What are you doing to celebrate the winter solstice?