This year, instead of presents, try presence

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Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

This holiday season, instead of going crazy and broke buying presents, why not try presence? There is a lot to be said for enjoying time with your friends, family, chosen family, and loved ones. Oftentimes when we go to events or parties, we are so busy looking at our phones that we miss what is happening live, right in front of our faces. I have watched people at concerts recording the show on their phones, while the performance is happening right in front of them!

Just recently, I had a very dear friend pass away, and when his husband asked if I had any pictures of all the times we spent together, I realized I didn’t have many. When we were together we were busy having so much fun, we never took out our phones. We just stayed in the moment. We were present.

Being present is not an easy task to do. Something I like to do when visiting with people is put my phone away. I usually put it in my handbag, and no matter what (short of an emergency), I leave it there. This method has not failed me thus far.

When people are talking to me, I look them directly in the eyes. Doing this makes for a more intimate conversation, and people know that I am listening, and I “hear them.” It’s important for everyone to feel heard.

The holidays can really bring us to an anxious state of mind, and that isn’t healthy for you or anyone around you. In this issue, yoga master, Steven Russell, has written The Five Secrets to a Happy Holiday, and why not listen to him and give them a try? My favorite is “Gift Yourself.”

And after the entire gift giving holidays are over, New Years is waiting in the wings with its own set of issues, which for me is the unknown, and not knowing what is around the corner. If you want an inkling of what is coming, head over to Leon Califiore’s article in the Broomcloset, Change Is Coming, where he says “Fear not, change is coming; and let’s be honest, change is always coming. For some of us, it’s a welcome notion, for others terrifying.”

So dear readers, this holiday season I am curious to hear what you have planned, and how you make it through the holidays. Even though we are busy celebrating and/or surviving, remember we have a big election coming up. I couldn’t let this opportunity go by without mentioning that we have lots of work to do. Until then, thank you for subscribing, advertising, and reading Out In Jersey, we appreciate your patronage and your presence.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

productiveflourishing.com/12-simple-ways-to-be-present/

Sam Martino
Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and other publications. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.