Sunday, December 6, 2015

All You Need is Love... and Friends

It's hard to stay happy and positive these days. The news from around the world is atrocious. People are attacking each other in the real world and even in the cyber world. Facebook is no longer a source of entertainment or camaraderie - it has become a platform for taking sides and sharing ignorant and insulting memes. There seems to be less and less gray between the black and white.

Yesterday started with Ted and I returning to bed after breakfast, which should be an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday, but instead it was because we had both lost the will to face the world.  On top of news of terrorists, police brutality, and climate change, we are facing our own personal disappointments such as a dearth of academic jobs during the very time that Ted is trying to establish his career as a college professor.

We might have stayed in bed all day, had it not been for the persistent "dinging" texts of one friend who wanted us to come to the Cincinnati Zoo for the Festival of Lights and another friend informing us of the Oxford Community Arts Center Christmas craft fair.

We rather grudgingly dragged ourselves out of bed and out into the cold, foggy world. And don't you know, the longer we spent outside, the better we felt. Isn't it funny that the hardest thing to do is usually the thing that best heals you? It also didn't hurt that the sun finally came out around 1:00pm (see photo above of the sun working hard to burn off that fog).

It was those texting friends that saved us from the depths of despair. The Christmas craft fair reminded me that we live in a strong community and that most people are friendly and not psychotic killers. I got some Christmas shopping done and supported the local artisans of my community. I was uplifted by the singing of the Christmas carolers and the efforts of some young violin players. I drank a peppermint latte. And I wouldn't have gone had it not been for my friend's urging.

After the craft fair, Ted and I drove about 50 minutes to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. There we met up with my other texting friend to meander through the light displays and animal exhibits in the dwindling daylight. The weather was cold, but the company was excellent, and though Ted and I had had to mentally force ourselves to get there, we ended up staying even after our friends left. There was the smell of cookies and candied nuts (and elephants) in the air, thousands of tiny twinkling lights, Christmas trees and bows and gingerbread houses, and even Santa's reindeer.

A good friend

My friends reminded me that there are still things left to enjoy in this world. For now, I choose to focus on that.

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