My holiday vacation renewed me so that I could return to my job far away from the land I call home. Moments of friends, family, and laughter filled me with the strength to pack up as the time grew near for me to leave for the airport. Knowing I only had a couple hours before it was time to go, my family invited me to choose the final activity we did together with me there. I offered to show my family this model and the website I had been working on building over the last few months. Everyone mostly looked away and found something else to do. I yielded (although feeling somewhat crushed that they weren’t even curious!) and proposed we play a game. My cousin brought up a card game called ‘crimes against humanity,’ which I have never played but have heard enough to feel caution about my ability to enjoy or play it. I mentioned my concerns (about joking about real world events that hold so much pain underneath them) and asked my family if they thought I would enjoy it. My sister chimed in and stated solemnly that it was unlikely I would have fun participating. Then, I pulled out a puzzle from my suitcase that I had brought on a whim just in case we had time to figure out the picture together (I am doing puzzles these days without knowing what the pictures are). Instead of playing a game that I'm guessing is very polarizing in relationships, we ended up gathering around a table and doing this time-pressured puzzle put-together (because I had to drive to the airport soon). It was weirdly fun to try and get as much done as we could… a collaborative connecting while knowing that I would probably leave before it was done.
As I drove up to the airport an hour later, the final picture arrived by text (volunteered by my family) as a celebration/goodbye. I was in awe realizing that speaking from my heart about my humanness, and redirecting as a challenger with bite-sized pieces that could help us all create connection, which now in this photo will be preserved forever as a fun Christmas memory... worked! :)