I meant to shout out to any Christians reading this that I hoped they had a good holiday, but somehow in the busyness of the day I didn’t get a chance.

I find the hub bub about whether to say Merry Christmas, vs Happy Holidays really interesting.

I think it should be very simple. If you know someone is Christian, then the most appropriate greeting is Merry Christmas. It’s only respectful! That is their holiday.

On the other hand, if you know they’re not Christian but celebrate Christmas then it should be Happy Holidays.

And if they’re like me, not Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas in any shape or form, then the greeting should be Happy Holidays, or even better Season’s Greetings!

I mean why would anyone wish me a Merry Christmas unless they really didn’t know that I’m not Christian, and yet isn’t it obvious???

I mean it’s not like I’m going to get offended or anything. Those days are over. (When I was growing up and still bitter from feeling excluded…yes, it would have offended me.)

Nowadays, though I find I feel pretty magnanimous about the whole Yuletide season.

I guess it’s because my own cup is full, alhamdu lillah. It’s easy to be generous to others when your own cup is full, right?

Saw one of my dear neighbors backing out of her driveway on Christmas eve and I called out to her, “Merry Christmas.” And she replied with the same, even though she knew. It would have been nice if she’d said Happy Holidays, but hey, doesn’t mean I like her any less.

And now that Christmas is over, I’m starting to think of the end of the year looming, and it always brings me back to what has happened. Where I was at this time last year.

It’s been a very unusual year. Lots of travel! Lots of connections! No new books sold, which makes me sad. But lots of progress nevertheless.

One thing good, I’m down about ten pounds from last year.

I’ll take it.

When I was buttoning up my winter jacket, I could do all four buttons and last year at this time I’d only be fastening the top three. That’s good!

And yet I feel like I’ve grown a lot, pardon the pun.

I’m seeing things more clearly: relationships; the motives of others; malicious vs innocent, that kind of thing.

It’s funny, way early when I started blogging I talked about an acquaintance of mine who made it big with one of her books, and as soon as she did so she dropped all her friends.

I always vowed I’d never do such a thing.

Whatever good happens, I’ve been keenly conscious of not letting it get to my head. And I consider myself fortunate because I have loving family members who prick any hot air that starts my head swelling like they’re pressure cooker valves, and they keep me humble, alhamdu lillah. They keep things in perspective and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But the funny thing is that it’s been the other way around. Some very close friends of mine have been dropping me.

I’ve lost three friends as my profile has gotten higher, not through my own wishes. And it’s a little disheartening.

I’ve made lots more, but nothing will replace those who I’ve lost.

I always heard that when people reject you, they’re doing you a favour. They’re actually saving you from them, but it still hurts.

Oh well.

I was looking at my life and thinking, gee, I really don’t have many problems. And I thought some people would think my life is rather dull because it is so peaceful and without drama. But I don’t feel that way at all.

Maybe it’s also because I’ve been binge watching Breaking Bad. It really is good! I watched the whole series once already, and my son said, “Why don’t we watch it again?” I didn’t want to. I know how addictive it was the first time around, but somehow I started watching it again, and funny thing, it’s even better the second time around.

I think it’s because the first time, everything is so new and so disorienting, watching it you’re just trying to keep up with all that’s happening! But the second time around you notice things you’ve missed. Things are falling into place better, and you see symbolism you didn’t catch before. It’s even deeper than you realized!

It’s not often you get a story that has both strong characterization and good plotting! Breaking Bad fits the bill.

And yet it reminds me of the common refrain of Forrest Gump. The refrain that he keeps saying that really boils down to the theme of the whole movie: ‘stupid is as stupid does’.

Which is why Forrest is the smartest character in the whole movie.

And Breaking Bad also keeps reminding me of some concepts in Islam. Can’t recall if it’s a hadith or if it’s a verse in the Quran, I just know somewhere it talks about how good people have a really hard time being bad. Being bad is not easy for them, they are constantly failing at it and getting caught. And bad people have a really hard time being good. Their life is slippery and they keep ending up doing wrong. Doing wrong is easier for them.

When I learned that, I started to rethink all the times I got caught doing something bad. I only ever cheated on a test once, and the other students caught me and laughed at me for it! Never did it again. And every time I lied, I’d be found out and punished to the point that it just wasn’t worth it.

I’m so thankful I never got good at being bad.

And yet watching Breaking Bad it’s almost like a Biblical allegory. Where Walt’s pride is his downfall and it’s fascinating how he starts out being quite relatable and pretty soon you see that he’s really no good and his descent is fascinating!

And poor Jesse Pinkman!

Really enjoying it the second time around, highly recommend it, even though it’s filthy in parts.

Looking forward to the new year. Wonder what it’s going to bring.

Hope I can get a book or two sold, feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough, but really Allahu alim.

We’ll see.

Life is good and I’ve got nothing to complain about.


If I could be down at least another ten pounds by this time next year…I’ll be quite pleased insha Allah!