Whit’s End: Festivus gave us room to grieve, but 2017 also left reasons to rejoice
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Post Independent Features Editor Carla Jean Whitley will continue her coffee shop listening series next week. January’s stop is in Glenwood Springs, and Whitley will continue to travel throughout the county, with a different stop each month. Her hope is to make it easier for you to share your comments, ideas and concerns with the PI.
Stop in, buy yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a seat!
Where: Bluebird Cafe, 730 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs
When: Tuesday, 7-9 a.m.
Why: Visit tinyurl.com/picoffee for a more detailed explanation
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week I attended my first-ever Festivus celebration. You’re probably familiar with the “holiday,” thanks to its inclusion in a 1997 “Seinfeld” episode. It started as a family tradition of one of the show’s writers, Dan O’Keefe, and is a non-commercialized, secular holiday. The celebration includes a feast (as every good holiday should), the airing of grievances and feats of strength. It does not include presents. (Hallelujah!)
I haven’t seen the “Seinfeld” episode that introduced this practice to the mainstream, but I’ve heard plenty about it over the years. When my friend Will invited me to the celebration, my response was affirmative and immediate. “I expect 2017’s airing of grievances to be epic,” I wrote.
My expectations were spot on.
Somehow I ended up holding the Festivus pole for an extended time, and so I aired as many wrongs as I could think of. Some of them were silly, such as people who don’t know how to respond to a flashing yellow traffic light. (It does not mean stop.) Some were more serious, such as death. Some slipped my mind in the moment — I’m thinking here of my former boss Randy Essex’s departure for Detroit.
As we near 2018’s inception, I’ve spent time reflecting on what this year held. While Festivus was an amusing opportunity to laugh about the bad — and there’s been a lot of bad — I’m generally more positive in my interpretation of events.
Even so, it hasn’t been easy to identify 2017’s highlights.
They haven’t been as momentous as the more distressing moments, I suppose. But it has been a year filled with quiet joys. I’ve spent more time outdoors than ever before. I treasure memories of the snow glittering on a bluebird day and cool river breezes accompanying me on bike rides. I’ve been surrounded by friends on journeys to Moab and Wednesday nights around town, alike. I fell in love with a sweet feline at Colorado Animal Rescue (and my friends are probably growing tired of hearing about those still up for adoption). I’ve also read a lot of books, albeit fewer than in 2016. I thought moving to a rural community would increase my reading time, but I didn’t account for all those outdoor activities.
Festivus was fun, and I look forward to next year’s observance. But I’m grateful that, even in hard years, there’s so much to be thankful for.
Carla Jean Whitley is the PI’s features editor and an optimist. Send her cat photos and book recommendations at email@example.com. (She has a phone, too, but she’s much better at responding to email.)
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