Ever wishful for time to think and read and write, I am grateful for today -- which afforded me the opportunity to do all three. Sitting in a coffee shop
on Sixth Avenue and 12th Street, I had the time and inclination to record these random thoughts:
- Sometimes it's good to get out of your own
neighborhood. My travels today took me to Stevdan Stationers, my intended destination,
and then, quite by accident, to the coffee shop next door. It's orders of
magnitude better than the ubiquitous Starbucks, and ignited a desire to seek
out other non-Starbucks coffee places in the city.
- "Stuff" is the thing least likely to lead to
happiness. In our culture, unfortunately, today is all about acquiring stuff,
resulting in lots of people looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
- Although I did a bit of editing on several
different blog post submissions this morning, I'm grateful to be able to put
aside -- at least for a day or two longer -- the anxiety and stress that comes
from having to find, or ask someone to write, a Ten Minutes of Torah essay for
every single week-day from now until....forever.
- What was Old Navy thinking when their marketing
people chose this as the store's holiday slogan: "Hi, holidays!"?
Surely they weren't thinking about Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur, right?
- Perhaps it's the springtime weather, but Thanksgiving
and the weekend don't have the same joyful feeling they did when I was younger.
Is it because the holiday and the days that follow (and precede) it have been co-opted by
retailers? Or, is it because I'm not the same person I was back then?
- I wonder what the world would look like if everyone
unplugged from their electronics for the weekend -- or even for the entire
period from now until and the end of the calendar year. Would we talk to each
other on buses and subways? Would we read real, hard copy books? Would we have withdrawal
from Facebook, Words With Friends, Tetris, and Candy Crush?
- Speaking of all things candy, I was distressed to
see in a gift-giving
guide in today's paper that Candy
Land, a staple of my childhood, is considered "vintage," and a
part of Hasbro's "Retro Series" of board games. Oy!
- I'm extremely grateful for many things -- at this
season and always -- but I think I would be more appreciative of my job, and of
having a job at all, if my current one wasn't two jobs rolled into one. This
scenario -- and my inability to right what is, to me, a problem -- makes me
angry, negative, and frustrated -- when I'm in the office and when I'm not.
- I'm trying to learn to leave the office at the
office (even if that happens regularly at 7 or 8 or 9 o'clock) and to swap
frustration for fun, anger for joy, and negativity for gratitude for the
goodness around me. It's a hard lesson, and in this matter, I'm not a
particularly quick study.
- And yet, despite the frustration, the anger, and
the negativity that I seem to have allowed to seep into every corner of my
life, as I watch the passing scene on Sixth Avenue, I'm perfectly content to be
living life with the cards I've been dealt. When all is said and done, I
suppose there's no more satisfying Thanksgiving realization than that!