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Reform Magazine | December 13, 2017

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Commitment-Phobe: Advent challenge, day 12

Commitment-Phobe: Advent challenge, day 12

I’ve reached the halfway point. Yay! And the seasonal plague is starting to leave my home. I may not have bought many presents or done any of the usual practical Christmas things yet, but I am feeling the spirit of joy upon me. This morning I started playing Christmas songs, which is always a sign that I am getting in the mood.

Today’s challenges were about trying to be a “light” to someone today. The options to choose from were:

  • Help someone put up their Christmas decorations
  • Go carol singing with friends
  • Reach out to someone who you know will find Christmas tough going

I chose number three, although I chose it with a slightly inappropriate smirk. This smirk was due to a friend’s Facebook post, from earlier in the week, where he had a rant about someone wanting to “reach out” to him rather than just “contacting” him. He pointed out that he was not drowning, so less of the “reaching” needed. Ignoring the wording I chose to go ahead with this option.

And for this I ended up using technology after my abstinence yesterday. I am the daughter of immigrants, so much of my family communication involves long distance calls or Facebook to keep everyone updated on what is happening in our lives. Using Facebook does not feel satisfactory but, as Skype didn’t work out for us, it’s become the default. My uncle and aunt are going through a really tough time right now, and will continue to do so into the New Year. A call isn’t going to work right now, due to things like hospitals and timings, but a thoughtful Facebook post sending love and prayers is.

So tonight I posted a few messages of love and support and that was my reach out. I used WhatsApp to have a chat too. But in the spirit of extending these challenges, I think I want to get a little creative with how I send my support for the rest of the year. I am going to bombard my uncle and aunt’s Facebook newsfeed with positive images, phrases, love, silly videos and nice songs. Because, however annoying these little AI gadgets that we carry around in are pockets are (also known as smartphones), they let us do things like record a silly song and send it via the internet to someone else. Which is a lot more fun than reading one of my usual depressing Facebook updates about the state of the world.

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