Letter from Matt- November

matt's letter

Dear Overlake Community,

As we head into Thanksgiving, I am sure many of you have planned to spend next week with family, to have a delicious meal (I hope!) and to relax and let go of the busyness of daily life.

For me Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. For starters, I love all of the food that is dished out. From the stuffing to the sweet potatoes to the main dish - turkey (which I eat even though I am an undercover vegetarian) all of it is tasty and seems to fit so well with the colder weather outside. The desserts also feature high on my list with extra slices of pumpkin pie with whipped cream a near certainty for me.

The other aspect of the holiday is the chance to be with my family and friends. As with many social events so much connection happens in the kitchen where we all generally congregate as the meal is being prepared. There is lots of conversation and relationship building that is created in this time and space. For me this is priceless. What is also particularly meaningful is how present we all are. Just being with each other and sharing with each other is so deeply pleasing.  

Besides great food and time with family, I also like to reflect on and talk about all that I am thankful for. For many years my family has made this a tradition. As I was thinking about what I am thankful for this year, I thought I would share them with you…. so here goes:

  1. That I have a wonderfully supportive partner who has been with me for over 24 years and together we have built a terrific life and successfully co-parented two developing young people (so far).
  2. That every day I am able to get out of bed and get busy with what my day will bring without significant physical challenges.
  3. That for the last six and half years I have had the opportunity to work with all of the fantastic members of the Overlake community to support the 530 young people as they navigate on becoming their best selves.
  4. That I live in a part of the world that is phenomenally beautiful and which constantly reminds me of how nature is incredibly awe-inspiring.
  5. And finally, that I live in a country where I have the ability to vote and participate in a democratic process and where laws protect basic human rights.

I read somewhere that the process of reflecting on what we are thankful for and then sharing this gratitude helps develop a greater capacity for empathy and compassion for others. I hope this season we all can learn how to do this a little better. I know for myself these are areas that I can continue to grow and develop as a human being.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!