It's December and the long cold winter is just starting to settle into Northeast Ohio. The pace of the world seems to be moving at light speed with most everyone gearing up for the holidays. The seasons first snowfall has covered the area and the bitter temperatures of the year are only beginning to take hold. The landscape of the countryside where I live has fallen into a deep slumber, leaving me wishing, wanting and needing warmer days. This is the time of year when I usually begin complaining about living in a northern state, but with that said the change in season also leaves me thinking of everything I'm thankful for.
The hustle and bustle of the Christmas Holiday is in full swing. The stores are full of cranky shoppers and roads packed with irritated drivers. This is what the holidays are all about (inject a hint of sarcasm here). Listening to the complaints around me on a daily basis, including my own I paused last night to reflect back on a time when this season was innocent and fun.
This time of the year has always been my favorite but the events in my life over the past few years has cast a dark cloud over, not just this holiday but, in all honesty all of the holidays. Last night while at Yoga the instructor was telling us to take deep breaths and release our day. Given that I didn't have a taxing day I decided to reflect and let go of everything that has been on my mind as the Christmas holiday approaches. I let go of the shattered traditions I've built over the past 10 years with my family. Some of the traditions I carried on from my childhood that made the holiday even more special. I let go of the anger, sadness and stress that my heart and mind has been carrying. Maybe I needed someone to tell me to let it go or maybe I was looking for a reason. Whatever the motive, with those deep breaths that weight on my soul was lifted and instantly I recognized the positive changes I've made in my life.
That night on the drive home I realized that I am a completely different man compared to three years ago. That thought put a smile on my face because I'm a better man. Maybe it's getting older or maybe it's understanding who I am, but I'm thankful that I found the courage to continue down my road. One thing is for certain. My road will never come to an end and I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for all of the opportunities and experiences that are down my road that I have yet to discover. Most of all I'm thankful for all of the family and friends along the side of my road that have the patience and understanding to witness and tolerate my success and failures. So with the Christmas season in full swing I'm thankful for the true gifts in my life. My family and friends. Merry Christmas and a Happy NEW Year !!