Yesterday, when riding an Uber, I heard the first Christmas song on the radio — I can’t remember which one — because I was so shocked to realize that it was nearly end of November, and that the holiday season is upon us. I have been in the U.S. for over two decades, and every year the first bit of Christmas music on radio is how I realize the holidays are here and the year is about to end.
This year has flown past in a blur. And yet I can’t wait for it to end and start anew in 2016. I know it is irrational and the dates don’t change anything, but the shift to the new year, for some odd reasons helps from a psychological perspective. 2015 has been a wonderful year, and yet a single painful event overwhelms the many joys and achievements, both personal and those who make up my social context.
As I sit here this morning, on the Thanksgiving Day, I am looking back at all the many changes in my own life, in the lives of my family and friends and those of my wonderful current and former colleagues, I see a pattern of progress. Some are becoming parents for the first time. Others are getting ready to send their kids to school. A handful of them have sent their kids to college and adulthood. A handful have celebrated their 50th birthdays. The steady and mostly soulful voice of my parents on the phone and the sameness of the conversation — health and matrimonial status — is both reassuring, and calming. The constant reminders from my sister and brother to remember birthdays and family milestones, are in my iMessage stream, telling a quiet story of the year gone by, and also a realization that I do live in my own head.
A very small coterie of friends who just by being there on a daily basis gave comfort and brought much needed steadiness, linearity and calmness to my restless self. The progress and small changes in my social fabric is what has given so much context and comfort, in this somewhat difficult year. I am really thankful to all of them.
But there is another group I want to thank — many members of what is derisively called the 1099 economy. All those nameless Postmates who brought me food when I was sick. Instacarters who bring groceries because I am too lazy to go to the store. And all those Uber drivers who have gotten me to appointments on time. It is very easy to forget them, because you know they are an “app” and giving them four or five stars is enough. But I don’t think it is enough. They have made my life infinitely better in 2015 and I want to be thankful for them.
And last but not the least, I am grateful and thankful for you, my fellow adventures in “change,” you my dear readers, who show up every day, only to remind me, that an end is just the start of something new and different.
Thanksgiving starts with a gusto in a few hours and I am looking forward to spending time with my friends in San Francisco. I hope you have a wonderful day with your families and friends and enjoy the lazy weekend ahead. Oh, skip the shopping and reach for that left over apple pie!
San Francisco, November 26, 2015