Thursday, November 22, 2012

The "Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."

Just when the election ads finally end, the holiday ads begin. It is a never ending barrage of  loud, garish music and voices spewing from the TV. I have to say that Target and K-Mart have the most annoying ads. (Did you notice that they have put a look-a-like into the ads to play the weird holiday-crazed brunette character from last year?)

Also, I find it disgraceful that stores open their doors on Thanksgiving Day, making their employees give up their holiday for the greed of their employers while they are probably spending their Thanksgiving in some resort or have a caterer slaving in their kitchen and serving them hand and foot. Really, have we become such a consumer driven nation that we cannot spend one day with the stores closed? Are our electronic devices, Smartphones, and tablets no longer enough to keep us satisfied?

What would happen if we could no longer use our devices? If we had to actually take our eyes away from the screen and face our fellow human beings? If we had to walk and talk without texting, or drive without surfing the net? OMG what if we had to pay attention to our kids while shopping, strolling, or sitting in the park without yapping into the cell phone? Maybe, we would turn back into humans instead of rude, thoughtless, careless beings getting in the way of others who do pay attention when walking, who do hold the door for the person behind them, who do drive and watch the road.

Working and living in the city can be stressful. I live near strip malls--literally 1/2 block from my house--and although sometimes it provides convenience, most times it just makes for a trash-ridden street and crazy people rushing around like maniacs in their vehicles. So between getting around the center city area for work and my NE Philadelphia neighborhood for living it seems to be a never ending affront of people who just don't seem to care about anyone but themselves. They litter around our homes and drive offensively bullying their way around without concern about your safety, even when they are in a vehicle and you are on foot.

So what have I chosen to be thankful about today? I am thankful that I am not addicted to my electronic devices--although I use them, I do not have a smartphone, do not really talk on my cell (or land-line for that matter), and use my tablet and computer without excess. I think the one electronic device I most enjoy is my mp3 player. I listen to books and music while in the studio, knitting on the train, doing chores around the house, and walking outside. I know I am tuned out, but TOMA does not like the music I like, so I give him peace while enjoying what I like to listen to.

I am most thankful that I practice activities that occupy my hands. It is the greatest gift to be able to occupy yourself during a blackout (with a little added light), and to be happily solitary in many activities. I always have something to do--if I carry my tools or project with me--so I am never bored.

I know many of you have the same things to be thankful for as we share the love of making things. So even though it is traditional to be thankful for your loved ones, a roof over your head, and food in the fridge on this day--and every day--I suggest that you be thankful for the knowledge and creativity you possess. Even though I admit that some days it seems more like a curse--you know the days when nothing goes right and the seam ripper seems more like a sixth finger than a seldom needed tool--we, the creative are blessed with the ability to do what we do. Even if we don't do this full-time as our job, or have book deals, we are so lucky that we can find bliss with a ball of yarn and two sticks, needle, thread and fabric, or a pencil and paper.

(See I ended a negative start with a positive finish...)

Baci e abbracci