Tue, 19 December 2023
Whether or not snow has fallen come December, the warmth and cheer of good tidings appearing about town, the neighbors, in the shops and arriving in the mail by way of the annual Christmas cards sent from friends and family living near and far always wraps me in a figurative hug.
This year, similar to last year, I will be spending Christmas at home in Bend, Oregon, and it is exactly where I want to be. And leading up to the festive day has been and will continue to be sprinkled with intentional activities, pastimes and nibbles that create a festive, cozy atmosphere I feel most fortunate to be able to savor.
Each of us will go through seasons in our lives, stepping out of old chapters and into new ones when we embrace our courage to welcome what is awaiting to be given to us, and such is the case for me that I am delighting in quiet Christmases.
As Nigel Slater eloquently writes in The Christmas Chronicles, in his delicious, image evoking prose, "Christmas is celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike. It is a cultural event as much as a religious one". I share the rest of the quote in last year's holiday episode - #347 if you want to have a look, but part of why Christmas and the entirety of November and December is treasured by so many is that it is celebrated around the world and it is celebrated by people of a variety of different beliefs or non-beliefs, and that is a reason to smile and appreciate the season all the more.
Perhaps inspired a bit by Beth Kempton's beloved book that I know many TSLL readers have enjoyed and return to reading each November and December, and adding to the list shared last year, episode #347, that included 9 Ways to Savor Christmas at Home, Alone, Simply Luxuriously, I wanted to share today's episode of how to savor a quiet Christmas with as few or as many people as you desire, and reveal how these thoughtful ways to enjoy this special time of year, while not extravagant, complex or even requiring money, can bring a deep richness to the season, making it all the more special.
Let's take a look at the list.
Visit the Show Notes:
Tue, 5 December 2023
Joining me on the podcast today is a guest who has courageously chosen to share that she thoroughly and unapologetically savors living a single life. The leading expert on single living, Dr. Bella DePaulo dispels the myths that pervade modern-day (and historic) cultures around the world when it comes to being single by looking at the research that is often cherry-picked and misleading as it speaks to in what type of relationship status one finds the most happiness. But most importantly, in her new book that was just released yesterday December 5th (2023), Single at Heart: The Power, Freedom, and Heart-Filling Joy of Single Life, she focuses on an abundance of findings that reveal the many benefits of living single. From improved health and deeper life satisfaction as we age.
Thankfully, so much of what is portrayed in media - films, books, television, pretty much everywhere - is not an accurate depiction of where and how happiness is found. By no means is Single at Heart an anti-marriage or anti-couple book, but rather a book that reveals that those of us who have chosen to be single, who find it far more fulfilling than being in a traditional couple, need only trust our inner compass to continue to choose the life that brings us fulfillment. As she points out, the world would be far more peaceful and content if we would trust what we know to be true of ourselves - those who wish to be in a couple would find people who truly wanted to be in a couple, and those who savored their single life would not feel forced to choose a life that was not nourishing.
Tune in to today's conversation where we will talk about the priority and value of freedom as well as benefits of solitude for the Single at Heart, and also speak to how those who are widows/widowers, as well as divorcees, can step into a new chapter of revelation about where and how joy can be cultivated. Dr. DePaulo discusses the importance of nurturing The Ones rather than just The One and reminds us that courageously saying we love our single life is what is needed to change the view that the culture errantly holds on to.