My family celebrates Christmas and everything we did was amazing. The holidays are my favorite time of the year because the music, decorations, and traditions remind me of when I was younger and everything my family and I used to do together. We still maintain meaningful traditions and spend time together, but we’ve lost some family members through the years that I always miss around this time. I believe it’s important to have “down time” during this season so I can recharge my batteries and put things in perspective. When I was in college and grad school, I usually had about a month off between classes to come home and relax and it never seemed long enough! But now that I work, I didn’t take any extra time off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s and I was in the office during those holiday weeks (except, of course, for the holidays themselves). I appreciate my time with my family and friends so much more now. I tell my youngest sister and her friends to appreciate their time in college because they will miss it when it’s over. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with where I am in life, but being an adult is hard work! It’s hard to make someone appreciate what they have before it’s gone, but I do try! I’m immensely grateful for my job and although I miss my down time, I think working makes me even more grateful for the time I do have to spend with people I love.

I want to be a grateful and thoughtful person; I want to always remember to thank and appreciate those whom I love. I’ve had more time to think over the holidays, and I noticed that my train has been pretty empty the last two weeks and the traffic seems lighter. I know that will end soon, probably the day after New Year’s, and I’ll go back to crowded commuter trains and rush hour traffic. I’m sure I’ll sit there and sigh and grumble, but I hope I remember these few weeks and how relaxing they were (yes, even if I did have to work!). I’ve been trying to appreciate the relative quiet on the train by reading without my headphones in and looking out the window, instead of shutting myself inside my own head. I realized that the train ride is nice–I can watch the sun come up and take some quiet time to think. It was nice to just be in the moment.

This post is probably all over the place, but what I’m trying to say is that I want to be a humble, grateful, good person. I think the only way to do that is to stop rushing around, be still, and think about what matters most. Thinking about that really helps me figure out what my priorities are, and knowing this about myself gives me the opportunity to question my choices. If I can be honest with myself then I can become a better person.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and that you have a happy and healthy new year!

My family’s 14 foot Christmas tree!