In Which Bryce Becomes Reflective

Not literally reflective. Because that would just be too cool. But rather, reflective in a thoughtful sort of way. The holidays have a tendency to get people thinking about their lives–as we gear up for the end of this year and the start of another. I went down to Pennsylvania for this year’s Thanksgiving, and for some reason I was looking at everything through a “what’s happened between then and now” sort of frame of reference. Allow me to elaborate.

The basement of my house in PA is where Denisa and I became secretly engaged just about 14 years ago now. She and I were having a chat there a few days ago (right after watching The Hobbit), and a package of thoughts hit me all at once. That room had not changed much at all in the intervening years. The furniture was the same. The layout. It was the same room. But the people we had become were much different. The experiences we’d lived through. Children. Houses. Cars. Education. Jobs. For a moment there, it was like I was looking in a mirror at the me from 14 years ago and comparing myself then to the me now.

It was a favorable comparison. I feel like I’ve grown a lot over those years, and that I’m a better person today than I was then. Not that I was a horrible person then, but still–you get the picture. It was a complex package of thoughts to think all at once, and it relates to another issue I’ve been having:

The lack of permanence.

I don’t know what’s up with me, really–just thinking too much, I suppose. But I keep reflecting on how anything in our lives can change without any notice whatsoever. You can get laid off, become sick, get in an accident. (I’m knocking on wood as I write this.) And so it’s hard to plan for the future. How do you plan for things you don’t have any control over? (I’ve written about this subject before, if I recall correctly.)

Why do I bring this up? Because I had another bit of personal epiphany over this past holiday weekend. (Man–it was an epiphaliffic few days!) It boils down to this–yes, it’s true that each celebration we have might be the last one that’s like that celebration. People move. Disasters strike. Change happens. But it’s really important to sit there and enjoy that celebration for what it is–a chance to rejoice that we made it this far.

Sheesh. This is sounding both sappy and pessimistic at the same time, and it’s not what I mean for it to be like at all. I suppose sometimes there are thoughts we have that make sense to us, and they don’t need to make sense to anyone else. Suffice it to say that I had a good break. Fun times, deep thoughts, and far too much food consumed. (I think I bleed eggnog at this point.)

Hope you all had a nice break, and that at least half of this post made sense to anyone. I’m going to call it a day and go back to unpacking. Till tomorrow!

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