Blame the gentle glow of my holiday lights and the scent of pine for this brief post, but some thoughts have been rattling about in my head. These thoughts began with the annual tree lighting in the center of town last week. I stood there, clutching my miniature bottle of Bailey’s (don’t judge) alongside thousands of others to watch a light switch go from OFF to ON. The deep discounts, garish advertisements and material promises of Black Friday couldn’t get me off my couch, but the flipping of a switch? You had me at “Three, two, one!”
Two years ago when I decided to move, it was an act of battle to right the ship – the final stage of re-establishing “normal”, I suppose. I know I didn’t think through it overly much, but I knew that normal wasn’t going to happen while still living in Hoboken. And now, I am just as home at a tree lighting in the town square as I ever was at the corner bar. And if I do move back to the city some day, I’d be fine there too. And you know why? When you move around as much as I have, it becomes clear that “home” is a mindset. It is where I choose it to be. It’s not where my parents or my sister reside or the house I grew up in. Being single, it’s easy to live in a sort of suspension about the concept of “home.” We are sold this notion that we can call some place “home” only when we buy a house or we get married and have children or if our families are there. It’s unfair. And I’m stealing the word back for everyone like me! So there.
And while I am at it, something else that I’ve been percolating on the past few days? That nothing – not one thing – I want for Christmas can be purchased at a store. But I do have a list: A blessed life, the health and safety of my family, my friends and me, that the people in my life treat me well and that I am good to them too, and that I will be afforded the opportunity to be in love some day.
If Black Friday could figure out how to make all that happen, I would finally get off my couch.