Thank you, to all my online friends, for all the times you have offered a supportive comment or just a *hug*. These things are intangible but real, and real-ly appreciated! May the rest of your week be wonderful, whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving or (like some of my friends across the pond) just celebrating living through another week! May your days be filled with moments that you can savor, no matter how small they seem: a hot cup of tea, five minutes to put your feet up, an email from a friend, a purring cat, a child's smile (even if it's not your child and they're not smiling at you--they're still so stinkin' CUTE! Enjoy it!).
Celebrate these moments, my friends. Most days don't bring us big victories, but that doesn't mean ignoring the small ones. In dark times, these little things can keep us going another hour, another day, another week. . .and the dark will eventually lessen, because all those little things are like little tiny lights, and they accumulate to become greater light. If I didn't believe it, I wouldn't still be here today, and I wouldn't be looking at the future with hope, instead of despair. I have suffered depression. I am still here. I have lost friends and family members I loved. I am still here. Sometimes the best moment of my day was the cat deigning to sit on my lap and purr, and that meant I had made his day better, regardless of what else I had or had not accomplished. I am still here, and I am still hopeful, and I hope you all are too.
"The holidays" are a stressful time, when we feel we have to project happiness, to everyone, all the time. Many of my online friends are introverts, and for us, it's hard to cope with the relentless "celebrate with endless groups of people" mentality of the next five weeks. Remember the joy of solitude and quiet moments. It's okay to withdraw, to recharge, to need some time alone. Just don't let the solitude = isolation, where you feel shut out from the groups. Acknowledge both your need for solitude and your need for connection and meaningful relationships. Hang in there, everyone, and be well and safe over the next few days!