It’s vacation. We are not “normal”, so we don’t stuff our faces and drink our brains out at Christmas. We spend time with each other, read, walk and are silent.

For me this vacation was about people. The experiences I had, either in person or through books and movies have shown me that humans are indeed a wondrous thing. They are an amazing thing to watch.

People have the power to lift you up and throw you to the ground, any minute of your life. You put your heart and soul into relationships and some flourish and give you such joy. Some whither and die because maybe what you are feeding them is not what they need. Or maybe they are getting only sun and they need water as well. I continue to watch The Morning Show and end up holding my breath through half of it – the twists and turns of life, the person we are now versus one minute later, in different circumstances, haunted and afraid, the impact one moment, one action, one word can have on one’s lifetime and the lifetime of others, no thriller matches that. No matter what the scenario is, at the end of the day, connection is what we all crave, the only thing that makes life worth living.

People are weak and they crumble under life’s heavy duty moments. You can’t see that any clearer than during the holidays, when so many lives are lost to desperation. People are astonishingly tough and able to come through in the hardest of circumstances, at the same time. Having just finished Educated and Not Without My Daughter, I stand in awe of the human spirit and its resilience.

I marvel at the intricacies of the tapestry that is humankind, at the way it is woven, every minute of every day. On Christmas Eve I watched my brother transformed by the birth of his first son and listened to my mother recount my own birth. Driving home from the hospital, we were silent, waiting for a funeral to pass us by. My newest nephew carries the names of two of his uncles who are no longer with us – is this a burden or is this a blessing?

My wish for the new year is that I keep my curiosity on and my judgment off when it comes to my fellow humans. That I remember, more times than I have so far that everyone is fighting a hard battle and that everyone, but absolutely everyone, is doing the very best that they can at any given moment. I hope to also remember all of these about myself, more often than not. This would be an amazing start to the new decade.

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