The holidays are always such a magical time. I love being able to stay snuggled up indoors and spend quality time with the family. This year was the first time in a while I felt like I could truly relax. Since I’m not working a full-time job and I’m in between school semesters, there is really nothing weighing on me. The only work I’m doing is for the blog – and it’s the fun work I love!
This year my little sister was so sick with some kind of bad virus, that we really didn’t do much of anything. We canceled our Christmas plans to stay home and take care of her, especially since we didn’t want anyone coming over to get sick. I’m still crossing my fingers and praying that I or anyone else in the family doesn’t get it.
Aside from my sister’s suffering, it was actually kind of a blessing in disguise. My parents and brother and sister and I all stayed in our Christmas pajamas all day long – something we’ve never done before! After waking up on Christmas morning to presents under the tree, it was such a treat to be able to lounge around and not have to scurry around cleaning up to get ready for company. It actually turned out to be such a relaxing Christmas!
After returning from a wonderful week in Charleston with Bishir (where took the above two photos) and spending a wonderful holiday with my family, I couldn’t help but reflect on all I am thankful for this year. Even though Thanksgiving has already passed, I don’t feel that I’ve properly reflected on all the things I am grateful for this year.
So, after quite a bit of reflection during these lazy post-Christmas days, here are the top 10 things I’m grateful for this holiday season.
- My family: Not to be cliché, but I’m blessed to have such a loving and supportive family. My parents have always encouraged me to go after my dreams and they have always maintained a welcoming home base to come back to. Even though I live away from home, I’ve started to feel more homesick than ever when I’m not at my parents’ house. I just love being with them and I feel so much closer to my siblings now that we are older.
- My boyfriend: After five years, we’re the best of friends and would spend all of our time together if we could. From living next door to each other in college to living two miles apart and, now, to living 3 hours apart, we’ve made it work against the odds. About a year and a half ago, he moved away to pursue his dreams, and even though we still see each other most weekends, everything we do is very intentional and we really value our time together.
- A successful first semester of grad school: So, grad school turned out to be much more work and much more intense than I thought. I felt like I was in a constant state of catch-up during the first month or so since there was so much pre-work before school even started. Once I caught my breath, things started to go much more smoothly, but after an intense finals week, I was really sweating it until grades came out. I have to maintain a certain GPA to keep my scholarship, so I was very relieved to learn I made the grades. Whew!
- My blog: The Lilac Press has had its ups and downs, and I’ve done my best to grow it as much as I can. Unfortunately, sometimes life just gets in the way. It did when I worked full time at PayPal and then again once I started grad school as a full-time student. Through it all, TLP has been there for me and provided a creative outlet for me to pursue my dreams (and gain some business sense along the way). One of my New Year’s Resolutions is going to be to manage my time more effectively, but also to be more forgiving of myself when I am not able to accomplish everything I had hoped.
- Boston: As much as I complain about the chilly weather (as I write this, the temperature is threatening to drop below zero), I do love this city. I love my cozy apartment and love the way a fresh blanket of snow makes the city sparkle. It may be no NYC or San Francisco, but I love it here and I especially love that my family is close by. I’m planning to explore and take advantage of all that Boston has to offer in the coming year.
How are you spending these chilly, but wonderful post-Christmas days? What are you thankful for this year?