Posts Tagged "New Year"

December doesn’t belong to you

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Life in Writing, Uncategorized | 2 comments

The amount of people getting genuinely angry over a greeting is growing increasingly confusing to me. I’m talking about the greeting “happy holidays”. “Happy holidays” is a wonderful, all-inclusive greeting that encompasses every holiday being celebrated in December. Lately, though, people have been claiming that “happy holidays” is being used to avoid offending anyone. These same people, then, are getting offended over the avoidance of  “Merry Christmas”. This has gone from an attempt to include others, to the assumption that we are trying not to offend others, to people being offended by trying not to offend others. I can’t be the only one who thinks that progression is silly. The thing is, most people don’t get offended at “Merry Christmas”. People say “happy holidays”, not to avoid offending anyone, but rather to avoid excluding anyone. It is a courtesy. It is meant to curb the violence that is assimilation and erasure–a violence that, for some reason, we feel we are entitled to dole out just because we are in the majority. To add, there is more than one holiday around this time of year. Even if you do celebrate Christmas, the New Year is just a week after. “Happy holidays” collectively says both. Most people celebrate more than one holiday during this time. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and many others are also celebrated, and that’s why we get so much time off from work or school–so that everyone gets the opportunity to celebrate the holiday of choice. Christmas is almost always the majority. Saying “happy holidays” to someone doesn’t mean you’re taking away from Christmas, but rather that you’re acknowledging that many people live in our part of the world who may celebrate differently from you. If this seems like a no-brainer, that’s because it should be! Do we really need a reminder that different people celebrate things differently? Take a moment to realize that people are wishing you well when they say “happy holidays”. They are not trying to offend you; they are not trying to avoid offending anyone. They are telling you to enjoy this time of year, sometimes despite the fact they don’t know you well enough to know what holiday, if any, you celebrate. And, by the way, if you feel it’s ridiculous to get offended over someone saying Merry Christmas, then I would counter that it’s equally ridiculous to get offended over someone saying happy holidays. December doesn’t belong to Christians. December doesn’t belong to any one denomination. Canada is not a Christian country, but rather a beautiful cultural mosaic that respects people of all religions and creeds. In fact, there is no one Christian nation; there are merely nations with a Christian majority. So happy holidays to you, no matter which holidays you celebrate or recognize. And if you don’t appreciate my greeting, that’s cool too. I’ll gladly save it for someone who...

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New Year, New Leaf

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

(Alternate title: This is not another post about Animal Crossing, so don’t worry.) It’s 2014. And things are changing for me. Sounds cliché, doesn’t it? A lot of people take the New Year as a time for renewal and changes. Lots of people make weight loss or fitness-related goals for themselves in 2014. That’s not a judgment by any means; it’s merely an observation. Whether it’s cliché or not, it’s still a great opportunity to stop and look at where you are in your life and think of what you’d like to change. I did this a little earlier–August 2013, to be precise. I was thinking about where I’d like to be right now and school really stood out for me. I’ve been on hiatus from university since spring of 2008. I’d had 11 courses remaining, but felt the need to take a break for personal reasons. I just wasn’t ready to be where I was and didn’t know what I’d do afterwards, anyway. So, I took a step away to figure things out. I don’t regret this at all. I had people telling me not to take too long a break because I would never go back. This year, I realised that I was running out of time, and that I had two options: let my courses expire and not finish, or go back and get it all done. It was a tough decision, because both sides meant a lot of sacrifices. I’ll never regret the time I took away from university because I learned so much about myself during it. I worked really hard, made a ton of new friends and acquaintances and even wrote a novella. I took a couple of courses over the last two years and earned higher marks than I had while studying full time, leading me further into the idea that I had learned enough to finally give it full throttle. Doing that while working full time was very difficult and it took a lot out of me, but I succeeded. I now have nine courses remaining. Nine. I have 5 coming up in January, then I’m hoping to take some intercession courses in spring and summer, then whatever is left to take in the fall. I will, finally, finish in December 2014. One year from now, I will finally have my degree. Better late than never! I struggled with the need to make a change a year ago. I wasn’t sure what that change was supposed to be and ended up not making a change at all in the process. I’m glad I didn’t, because I don’t know if I would have made this decision otherwise. So, welcome, 2014. I’m glad to see you. I know I have a lot of resolutions that I really want to make this year, but I think I’m just going to keep it to one: focus on school. What’s even more exciting is that after this degree is finished, I’ll be free, and I’ll be able to move on to other things without feeling like I’m half-doing something else. Who cares if New Year’s resolutions are cliché? Who cares if you don’t keep them? Thinking actively about your life and what you can do to change it for the better is still a worthwhile exercise. Better to resolve, try, and not keep your resolution, than to do nothing at all. Better to be self aware and fix anything broken than to be ignorant, whether you perceive that ignorance to be bliss or not. Try, and, in trying, may you succeed. Happy New...

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How many sunrises?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Life in Writing | 1 comment

How many sunrises?

The last sunrise of 2012. As soon as 2013 hit, I’d taken to a new hobby: photographing sunrises with my phone. It started with New Year’s Eve, first thing in the morning. I was up just long enough to feed the cats, but I took my phone downstairs with me. The last sunrise of the year was waiting for me. I snapped a photo, fed the cats, then went about my day. The following day, the exact same thing happened: I woke up, fed the cats, and saw the sun rising, so I snapped a photo. The first sunrise of the new year. A sunrise is a reminder that we’re living to see another day–a privilege, not a right. We might not necessarily get to see tomorrow’s sunrise. I look at them, myself, to remind myself that above all else, I’m alive, and that’s all that matters. I catch myself complaining a lot. In fact, I’m really bad for it. I know I have no reason to complain about anything, but I do it anyway. Instead of beating myself up for it, since that will only cause more negativity, I’ve been trying to divert my energy to something positive. The first sunrise of 2013. The other day, I was walking to the bus stop on my work, feeling grumpy and rushed and thinking of trivial things that didn’t really matter. As I was walking, I turned to see the sun just hovering over the horizon, casting a pale golden light on the ground below. The ice-coated snow reflected the light back, like a frozen mirror. The sight was breathtaking. I glanced at it distractedly, thinking to myself that I didn’t have time to stop and look, and that I’d miss my bus. I hesitated on that thought. Was that really the worst thing that could happen if I stopped to look at this sunrise? I set aside my petty problem for the time being. If I died that day, I didn’t want my only regret to be that I didn’t look at the sunrise long enough. These thoughts may seem a touch morbid to anyone else, but to me, it’s a reminder that I have so much to be thankful for. If my biggest concern is missing a bus because I stopped to look at a sunrise a little too long, I really don’t have many problems. So, I stopped to look at the sunrise for those who aren’t able to–for those who don’t have the same kind of freedom I have, and for those who have bigger things to worry about, like whether they’ll be able to eat tomorrow. And also, to remind myself that I am in control of my life, because too often do I say I “can’t” do something, when in reality, I simply won’t. The sunrise photos are, I suppose, a bit of a personal project. When I sleep through a sunrise, I take a picture of a sunset in the evening. I know I won’t do it every day and it’s not something I want to pressure myself into doing. It’s really just something for me to remind myself that life is great and it’s getting better all the...

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