Friends, people who nurture our inner child. I had no time for stockings so I allowed myself to let this go…so thanks! Years ago, when I was at the Uni, I decided to take Christmas softly. Mixed feelings for me, always, with a bit of grief this year and loads of anger/disbelief around how many people ignored the immigration, refugee crisis, and pandemic this year. We’ve become so selfish as a kind, or maybe not evolved just yet? I’m told it’s the first global pandemic in history in which we actually value human life…(shocked to learn that), and so many still don’t… not even their own…but if I stay in the present and listen to how I want and can spend this time, it becomes educational and stress-free, I can sail through it with gratitude. Perfect time for reflection and giving thanks to those who were there for us, those that we miss. Perfect time to place one more plate at the table (Polish custom to symbolise a person who might be lost and in need on Christmas Eve). For me, time to count the efforts I made to help others. My business donated £500 to causes supporting young people, refugees, anti-oppressive work this year. I have trained as an anti-oppressive therapist and gained some really solid placements too. I served many clients. Made mistakes and learned from them. I suffered and came out or through that suffering stronger, wiser, quieter. I learned that the word “LISTEN” spells “SILENT” and so I started to use my voice wiser. I lost my blogging voice a few years ago due to Brexit but it’s back and I am now using it softer, more tactically, with action. All of it was, is, and will be possible thanks to friends who make Christmas stockings for us and who carry us from one day to another. We are not alone, we are not supposed to lift ourselves up from the darkness on our own when we can’t. We are a social kind, we need the connection to turn Illness into WEllness (stolen from Malcolm X, I think). Our individual needs will only be met if we work on them as a collective and lift up that one silent person in the room. So in 2022, I shall learn to listen to the silence more and speak for those who cannot.