I didn’t mail cards this year. Let’s pretend like that is some sort of reducing my carbon footprint “value action” instead of just me being too robustly engaged in life to keep up with the little details.
So, here’s the holiday letter. Hope it finds you well and that you appreciate lugging one less piece of paper to the recycling center. I shall now execute the requisite parts of the holiday letter, also known as the well wishing, the bragging, and the preaching.
First – the generic wish you well.
But seriously, I wish you well. If you are unwell, I wish you the resources to mitigate your suffering as expeditiously as possible. If that isn’t possible, I wish you complete enjoyment of the growth that results from your suffering. (And that I in no way contributed to said suffering.)
Second – the bragging.
From where I sit, the kids are doing great. I may be wrong about that, because they are teenagers and they can be a bit mysterious at times. But I see them laughing and treating one another with compassion, no limbs have fallen off this year, and the only time school calls is to tell us that there is some opportunity to drive a field trip or lunch money or something else that is misplaced, so that says to me everything is exactly normal.
If you want more specifics, you should totally ask them (they will probably tell you more than they tell us). Let me give you some question prompts, the salient details you could ask about: James kicked the PSAT’s ass, did a cool nerdy intern thing at MIT Media lab last summer, and has a really great girlfriend; Max transitioned from Elementary school to middle school like this is NOT his first time at the rodeo, did some horseback riding and drama stuff, and is serving on the school Justice Committee. Each of them are doing a really gracious job of watching their mom go through her mid life hippy phase. The title of the Christmas Card is their doing.
Third – the plug.
Over the years, I’ve gotten my fair share of holiday letters from loved ones who hope that I am squared well with Jesus, or other such religious well wishes, so I’m going to grant myself permission to do a bit of prosthelitizing (I have NO idea how to spell that word). This year, I discovered my heart and spirit in a way that I have never imagined possible. As these things go, there is no one single thing that got me here, and part of my “awakening” is to let go of the myth that there is only one way. And yet, I feel drawn to end my letter with a mission statement from the Human Awareness Institute, and an invitation to you: it would bring me great joy if you choose to reach out to me and ask why this has been so meaningful to me. If you are someone I’ve ever said “I love you” to, then I a have certainly thought of you in the context of the HAI community either because you are a participant, or because I hope you will be!!
“The Human Awareness Institute (HAI) empowers individuals to be potent, loving, contributing human beings. HAI promotes personal growth and social evolution by replacing ignorance and fear with awareness and love. HAI aims to create a world where people live together in dignity, respect, understanding, trust, kindness, compassion, reverence, honesty and love. The Human Awareness Institute is committed to creating a world where everyone wins.”