Google Maps is a very dear friend of this direction-muddled woman! However, even Google Maps’ biggest fan has been led astray. Once, en route to a hospital in an unfamiliar city, Google told me to turn right. I was on a 4-lane road with no sidestreets in sight. Google insisted I turn right. The only place to turn was the parking lot of a USDA office building, the only thing on the right for as far as I could see. Once I turned into the parking lot, Google told me to continue for 7 miles! I wondered if there might be a road at the back for the building — no, there wasn’t. I returned to the highway, continued driving for a couple of miles before approaching a more populated area. By then, Google Maps had resituated itself and directed us safely to the hospital.

With all that said, I know your piece was about a lot more than getting lost using a map app. The holidays turn us into hamsters on a faster and faster wheel. Aging for me has put holidays in perspective. Isn’t it better to spread the cheer and giving throughout the year rather than cram it in one month?

We don’t need to bow to society’s expectations. Breathe, take a walk, leave at least one stressful holiday task to another day or another month. Does it really matter?

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