Three down. None to go. The trinity of holiday celebrations have just passed: Thanksgiving, Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) and now the New Year.
The trinity also includes celery, onions and bell peppers — much of which is consumed during the Holidays between November and December. If I had been a smart planner/entrepreneur, I would have been growing those provisions just for the season — not to mention collard greens, sweet potatoes, etc. Perhaps next year.
This is a time of year when people seriously reflect on what has been and begin to focus on the possibilities of what lies ahead. Amends are made, some in the form of resolutions to not make the same choices; others resolve to improve over their past performance.
Whichever is the case with you, I find it useful to take the time to pause, reflect and meditate for a little while and take advantage of the vacation days.
By the way, have you considered that the holiday time-off is a luxury for many? Ever wonder about the 24-hour operations of hospitals, law enforcement, fire-rescue and other essential services? The 9-to-5 office workers, classroom professionals, students and others who have a fixed schedule enjoy certain cyclical schedules and steady rhythms that are considered the norm, but are not universal experiences.
There’s so much to think about.
I have begun to review my past year and, most recently, during the holiday season:
• I gave thanks for all my blessings of health, soundness of mind (well, most of the time, anyway), the love of my family and friends.
• I played Santa Claus again this year to my grandchildren. Oh, what a joy! Their number increased by two at once — a twin boy and girl were born a few weeks before Christmas — and the blessing is that everyone is in good health.
• A major decision was made to relocate our beloved mother to spend time with one of my brothers; I look forward to visiting her on the West Coast.
And, over the past year:
• I have been offered
the wonderful opportunity through this column to continue sharing many of my thoughts with you about the world at large, about our local and national political scene, about President Barack Obama, about Oprah Winfrey, about peace and war, about weapons that shoot and words that are used as weapons, about the demise of the television news program, especially on CNN, and about my unending hope for humanity.
• In the past six months, I have been given the privilege to take on another endeavor, this time as publisher for ICABA South Florida that features the profiles of the black accomplished from Palm Beach County to Miami Dade County. I am appreciative of all past (and future) opportunities.
• Thanks to you again, this column has a readership beyond my imagination. Just a few weeks ago, while going into the Post Office in Miami Shores, a complete stranger walked up to me and told me how much she enjoyed reading my articles. She recognized the glasses! (And that reminds me. I’m in big trouble if these red cat eyes ever break. So if you are in the know, please send me any and all referrals for where I can buy cat eye frames).
In the meantime, here are a few things I am looking forward to in the upcoming year:
• The survival of the planet past 2012, conspiracy theories and the Mayan calendar notwithstanding. I urge you to live each day as if it were your last; then all the other hype will not matter. Actually, I look forward to the world ending as it is, in exchange for something so much better.
• Continued research and development for cleaner and sustainable methods for producing energy; i.e., more electric vehicles. I believe that if it can be conceived then it is already achieved. Here is a case for the combination of political will and economic pressure to get it done.
• The reelection of Barack Obama: See above.
• The restoration of the dignity of Congress. Do you feel as if your country has been hijacked? Here’s how to get it back: See immediately above.
• More democratic governments around the world: See above. Are you following this?
• Increased civic engagement in the U.S.A.
• Lower prices.
• Higher wages.
• More goodwill to all humankind.
• World Peace. Yes, I said it.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Antonia Williams-Gary