La Voz de Galicia – December 22, 2023 →

Cristina PatoToday, on the longest night of the year, at 4:27 am, winter came in. And I don’t know if it is because of the solstice or because Christmas festivities are already here, that one feels a curious mixture of joy, emotion, and sadness, all at the same time, all together. It is one of those feelings impossible to define that makes one ask an infinity of things, and not to stop thinking about the meaning of one’s life, or about society’s fate–especially in these complex times.

Each one of us lives these festivities that are about to begin in any way one can. Each person has their own circumstances, their own lives. But there is something peculiar in that feeling of sadness that sometimes appears in those moments when one knows one should feel joy. That something makes it so that when that joy does not arrive, once feels guilty for not being capable of finding it. And then begins the spiral of thoughts I know I have to make an effort to come out of it before losing myself in it. So in an attempt to begin winter on the right foot, in an attempt to find light in the longest of nights, I decided to sit and write the things for which I feel grateful this year. And I must confess that there are more than I had expected, and that while I was writing there began to appear those moments of joy that I did not find at other times during the day. And when I finished that list, I began another: the thanks I have to give for all those things for which I am grateful.

Sometimes we forget that gratitude is a fundamental feeling in our lives, and we forget to give thanks (even if only with a gesture) to those that with a smile or a small gesture change the direction of our day. We forget that gratitude brings joy.

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