Alternate Holidays, 2017

Alternate Holidays, 2017

Jan 01 - Planning Day - Create phone contacts for your senators and federal representative. Add state and local officials to the list as well. Make a list of things that are important to you. Things you want to preserve, things you want to end. Create news alerts and scripts to use when you pick up the phone to let elected officials know how you feel. Numbers for local offices are more effective and responsive than DC offices. Use this tool to help:

Jan 20  - National Day of Listening - The good are willing to sacrifice. Be still and quiet and solicit the opinions of others who disagree with you. Ask polite and serious questions, and ask others to return the courtesy. Give people your attention and thank them for their time.

February 14 - Whisper Day - With your own voice, and in your own stumbling, unsure words, whisper your love for others. Face to face if possible, through lines or over the airwaves if not. Embrace your awkward pauses. Each is filled with feeling.

March 4 - Jennifur - Take a moment to love an animal and the people and organizations that care for them. Volunteer a few hours, donate a few bucks, agree to foster or adopt if your situation and schedule allow.

March12 - Slumber - The dark flows further into day on the 12th. Enjoy the extra rest. Eschew electric lights in favor of candles and lanterns. When evening comes, stroll with friends through the extended twilight.

March 20 - Assessment Day - When the day and night are nearly equal, take stock of your life. How are things going? Is you life in balance? What weighs you? Where do you feel light? Make plans to even yourself.

April 16 - Hatch - Manifest your inner self boldly, without fear of reproach or reprisal. Grow wings, wear heels. Don a somber tuxedo. Throw candy and sing.

May 14 - Women’s Recognition - Eschew role identity. Men, take note of the women in your lives and recognize all they do as the people they are. Not mothers, daughters, sisters, conquests or property, but people. Women and children, appreciate the women near and far who build and hold this world together.

June 4 - Killdozer: A National Day of Making - Make something awesome. That is all.

June 18 - National Day of Detox - Gentlemen, when was the last time you had a good cry? On this day of emotional expanse, think of all the feelings you can and name them. Make them yours. Then seek out subtler ones. The ones given to camouflage and mimicry. Be comfortable with sadness and loss. Feel vulnerable and afraid. Speak to others with an open heart. Accept rejection with kindness and grace. Find someone to give you a hug, and let the big feelings in.

June 21 - Bask - When the daylight lasts longest, gather friends and take a moment to feel the sun on your faces. Then rush headlong into the great outdoors, or sequester in the interior dim. The day is yours. Do with it what you will.

June 24/25 - Poop Year’s Eve/Poop Year - Save it up, let it go. Eschew bodily shame and tell friends of your holy experience.

July 2 - Midyear - Advocate, volunteer, donate what you can to causes and organizations important to you. Charities need help year-round, not just November and December.

August 7 - 11 - Doldrums - Take the week. Finish the unfinished. Move at a pace worthy of calm water.

September 27 - Second Assessment - Take stock of your life again. How are things going? Is you life in balance? What weighs you? Where do you feel light? Make plans to even yourself.

October 9 - National Day of Atonement - All Americans of European descent adorn their faces with tears and walk to all destinations.

November 5 - Awakening - Greet the early sun and do one new thing with your extra hour of morning. In the evening, while away the dark’s new hour by candlelight telling stories with those closest to you.

November 23 - Tribe - Claim the family that’s truly yours, the one with whom you belong. These are your people. This is your tribe. Eat and drink and celebrate and love one another. You are no longer bound by old notions of blood.

December 21 - Huddle - On this longest night of the year, go to ground. Consider the year you’ve lived and all you have accomplished. Make notes of successes and lessons. Stare up into the dark, night sky and whisper a single aspiration.

December 25 - Emerge - With nothing but the most primitive tools, it is finally possible to tell the days are getting longer again. Gather once more with your tribe to share the successes and lessons you cataloged during your Huddle. Tell stories and raise glasses. Shout your aspirations one after another and make note of each. Make plans to help each other reach them.

December 31 - Molt - Shed yourself and begin anew. All the world is possibility.