For Thanksgiving proper, it’ll be just Lj and myself this year. We literally don’t have room to invite over anyone, and everyone we know has other plans anyway. That’s going to make it a quiet day, and that can be nice. We enjoyed Netflixgiving last week, so we’ve certainly celebrated already.

I’ve never lived away from my hometown of Norman for this long before – 14 months was the previous record, and the overlap was all in summer –  and I’ve never had a second holiday season “away.” There are certainly some strong emotions brought up by this. In Norman, I was effortlessly involved in holiday social gathering with close friends regularly, which was amazing for my introverted nature. There was an ease and comfort to having many holiday options, and if I had emotional issues one day, there were many other opportunities to celebrate the same holiday, with a subset of the same friends.

I absolutely have friends in Seattle, including some really close friends. But the traditions that already exist out here mostly don’t involve me, and existing gatherings are often clearly at capacity with people who’ve been doing them for years. I can see the easy, comfortable trends I benefited from in Norman, but I’m not part of them anymore. New traditions take time – more than 18 months.

The ease of the Norman holiday traditions was obviously a rut, and being bumped out of it opens opportunities for new things, which can lead to good things. I just have to remember not to allow the part of my head that’s broken present my new circumstance as something it isn’t. Having fewer holiday events, especially when I never went to all those open to me, isn’t bad, just different. But my depression, anxiety, and other issues being what they are, sometimes it *looks* bad, from the inside.

I’m warm, comfortable, and with someone I love today. I hope all of you are too!

I am, in short, thankful, and maybe thinking about that thankfulness more than in many years past.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on November 26, 2015, in Musings, Retrospective, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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