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  • Writer's pictureJoe Danis

Slow Down. Breathe. Connect. Love. PART 2

Now that the Christmas season is officially over (for Christians and those who celebrate the season… oh, and Ukrainians!) and we reflect on our experiences over the past two weeks, I can’t help but ask myself if I followed my own advice. My advice to slow down, to breathe, to connect, and of course to love. I certainly tried to weave these simple actions into my days as we gathered with friends and family throughout the break to celebrate. But I’ll be the first to admit, at times it was difficult. Getting caught up in the chaos that is the holidays can be challenging. So, as we transition into the new year and get back to “normal” living and actually know what day of the week it is, I think my holiday message is equally important in the coming days and weeks. And, hopefully it becomes part of our daily routines and approach to life. In many ways, I think the holidays can be similar to my analogy for vacations. As I wrote in a blog earlier this year, “a vacation is defined as being something separate from our everyday life while a journey becomes part of us.” Shouldn’t the holidays become part of us, part of our journey. The Christmas season means something different to all of us. And, for non-Christians, it might not be a holiday at all. And, the purpose of this blog is not to get into a debate on the meaning of the season or this crazy idea that there is a “war on Christmas.” There isn’t. Get over it. The purpose of the blog is to simply share my thoughts on trying to slow down, breathe, connect, and love everyday, not just over the holidays or other celebrations that bring us together throughout the year. I think that’s why January is such a let down for so many people, as the build up for Christmas can bring unrealistic expectations and leave us feeling unfulfilled in certain ways. Christmas should be a celebration, but as Jim Carey recently said, “no holiday should manipulate you to the point where you are going into debt just to show someone you love them.”

As we slowly shuffle into the new year and deal with the melancholy of January and the post-holiday hangover, let’s not lose sight of the importance of the season and exercise the message of the season each day of the year, not just the last two weeks of December. Let’s be giving all year long. Let’s be forgiving all year long. Let’s be spiritual all year long. Let’s celebrate “life” all year long. Let’s slow down every day, take a deep breath, connect, and most importantly, let’s spread our own unique message of love all year long. I think if we do that each day, every day, we can make 2018 a year to celebrate. Happy New Year everyone!

Joe Danis

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