#167: The Easter Holiday

man standing on brown rock cliff in front of waterfalls photography

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Ollivves.com

What a weekend, am I right? This past weekend was one for the history books, with a combination of Dungeons & Dragons, Monster of the Week, Telestrations, Heroes of the Storm, Magic: the Gathering, and much more played between groups of friends and family during the past couple days. It brings me so much joy to see people come together and enjoy the small things together.

Easter is that time of the year when I start to feel like the year is fully in swing. The stride hits around June or July, but right about now, as I enter the last leg of the school year, I definitely feel that 2019 has arrived. In a sense, I’m relieved because we’re one step closer to the next presidential election, and everyone knows how important that’s going to be. But on the other hand, I’m not so relieved because I feel old, like my early 20s weren’t very much.

We used to have larger family gatherings involving Easter, and all the other Christian holidays, but nowadays our Easters are just at home with a small group of close family around the table. We eat, drink, and feel merry with each other. There aren’t any more Easter baskets from the bunny to expect when we arrive home; instead, there are dishes we love and people we don’t get to see often. A different kind of present, offered only during the holidays.

This Easter, I sat around the dinner table with Alex and family and we talked about my (relatively) new job, my nieces, and Alex’s job. We tend to talk about Alex’s job and commute a lot whenever we’re together. Also, getting engaged was brought up by both sets of parents, which Alex and I both know is something we’ve heard a lot about.

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#132: The Irish Holiday

adventure alpine atmosphere daylight

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(Not sure what this photo is, but it came up when I searched Irish!)

It’s time to discuss the Irish holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, and its connections to me. I don’t really associate much with the holiday, considering I don’t have any Irish heritage in me (I’m pretty sure at least), but there are some parts of it that are significant to me regardless.

Let’s talk about the first one: Shamrock shakes. Indisputably one of the best elements of this entire holiday season, the shamrock shake from McDonalds is the perfect blend of peppermint goodness right into your mouth. I used to get them more frequently when the time came, but there aren’t any McDonalds near Stamford (at least that I’m willing to drive to just to get a simple peppermint shake.)

Also, at CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, candy is on sale usually soon after the holiday or afterwards. Because I don’t celebrate the holiday much, I can at least celebrate a temporary candy sale when I see one.

When I went to Quinnipiac University, which has an especially large Irish heritage to it, people celebrated the holiday by visiting Aunt Chilada’s (as they would normally celebrate big occasions.) This is also around the time that the college hockey season seems to catch up to itself, which Quinnipiac absolutely looks forward to.

There was a 5k in Stamford over the weekend, complete with celebratory music in the streets and areas roped off for runners and marathoners to jog and sprint down. I went to the gym with Alex for about 40 minutes while all this was happening. That’s about the extent to which I feel comfortable running/walking at one time, so no 5ks in my future, especially not on St. Patrick’s Day.

#27: Gratitude & Sweaters

green and orange squash

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

I’m thankful for friends, family, and food. I’m thankful for Alex, my incredible, impeccable, and always intellectual girlfriend. I’m thankful for my few but strong close friendships, the ones that have helped pull me out of the depths of anxiety and depression and onto my feet. I’m thankful for this blog and the platform it’s given me; albeit small, it is just personal-sized, which is all the attention I think this endeavor deserves. Nothing more. I’m thankful for creative writing, fulfilled through Dungeons & Dragons role-playing and world-building and through this blog’s daily writing goals; I have the opportunity to pour my creative juices into something productive and fun, even after leaving my job. I manage to make it work every other day or so, although the blog posts have been coming a bit out of order recently (trying to work on that, but the numbering is done beforehand and WordPress occasionally screws that up). I’m thankful for video games, the escapist fantasy brought through total envelopment in another world, because the current world is too anxiety-inducing to think much about. I’m thankful for game nights with my friends, a perfect constant after all these years of separation, distance, and amnesia. I’m thankful for late-night board games, early morning people-watching from the apartment balcony, and afternoon coffee. Nothing like a warm cup of joe when my energy isn’t at its best.

I’m thankful for cold weather, sweater and snuggle weather. I’m thankful for clothing options that better suit my personal style. I’ll wear a sweater any day of the year, rain or shine, warm or chilly, day or night, just because it feels good. No constriction, only pure comfort. But being a regular sweater-wearer means relishing in the days when choosing a sweater is just the right option. When a flannel is too thin and rugged and a jacket is too much, a sweater can seal the deal and make you feel better. The close, personal warmth it brings can recharge your spirit, granted you’re not outside. Whether it’s the blue sweater made of lamb wool, the green cardigan, or the classic grey look, I always have a sweater on me. I’m thankful for being able to survive these frigid nights writing on WordPress, with a sweater around my chest, rather than suffering outside without a roof over my head. I went into New York last weekend, and I can never look at a homeless person without feeling complete and total pity about the state of the world. Being privileged in life makes a major difference in the ways in which you are treated by others. Give and you will receive, in one way or another. I’m thankful for Alex in more ways than I can count right now.

I’m thankful for the Internet, for the communities I can join in and out of in an instant on websites anonymously. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve met over the Internet, the ones I talk to every once in awhile and the ones I am lucky to speak with every day. I’m thankful for friends I met in person but whose friendships blossomed thanks to instant messaging and emailing. I’m thankful for their advice, suggestions, and constant presence in my life, even when I feel needlessly frustrated. I’m thankful for their random messages of encouragement and enlightenment, always when I need them most; let no one tell you the world is getting “too soft,” when a little bit of softness is sometimes all we need to get by. I’m thankful for those who feel comfortable exposing their vulnerabilities without feeling threatened by the mere presence of emotions. I’m thankful for people who both seek and provide comfort.

I’m grateful and thankful for so many things, and this is hardly a complete list, just the stream of consciousness that came to my head as I wrote. Hopefully it suffices for now.

Happy Easter!

Hello everyone,

I won’t be posting anything significant today, I think. I just wanted to wish my nice followers and friends a very happy Easter, if they celebrate it. I hope you all have a great holiday, and enjoy the festivities! I know I will be.

Enjoy the day!