It came and went much too fast but I made it back to Berkeley after a very much-needed Thanksgiving holiday. On Wednesday morning, I made it to the Amtrak station, caramel brulée latte in hand, for my long-awaited trip home. Usually my mom is able to pick me up and drive me back to Woodland (a blessing I am extremely grateful for!) but this time I opted for a train ride to Davis. If it weren't for the $20-something ticket price, I would probably take Amtrak home more often. It really is a wonderful way to travel, at least from my experience. Looking out the window, one can see a great expanse of both city and land, opening up an entirely new view of the surroundings I typically just notice in passing. It was a very soothing trip--I spent most of the hour or so just looking out the window and listening to music. I'm extremely thankful for the change of pace I was able to experience on the ride home.
Back home, I split my time between paper-writing and visiting with friends and family. Wednesday afternoon, I was able to catch up with both Pablo and Miss Chung over a cup of coffee. Lucky me, Jason also happened to be in there so he joined in for a while. Thursday afternoon, my family and I drove to Davis to spend Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family. I never used to care for Thanksgiving, seeing as my brother and I were always the youngest and never seemed to be able to find much to do or many family members to socialize with. Now that I'm in my 20s, it seems I'm a little closer in age to the rest of the family so that it's easier to interact with those I wasn't necessarily close to before. It's really nice to feel so loved and to have some of my cousins, among others, so interested in what I have to share with them. I spent the majority of Friday at Starbucks, going back through texts and creating a prospectus so that eventually I could start the paper with ease. Saturday morning, I went to Natomas with Miss Chung and came home with nail polish, a few new clothing items and some supplies for a few DIY Christmas gifts I plan to make. The rest of the weekend has been spent paper-writing and of course, journeying back to Berkeley for the last week of classes. I can proudly say I'm on the eighth page out of ten of my paper--I should be able to finish before the night is over.
On a side note, today is the First Sunday of Advent, along with the implementation of the new Roman missal. It's a time of preparation for the Church and of course for me, as I try to once again center myself and think more deeply about the way in which I live out my faith. Today's Gospel reading from Mark left a lasting impression this morning, reminding me of the necessity to stay alert and remain watchful, for I "do not know when the time will come" (see Mark 13:33-37). It's a warning I feel I need to hear as I think I've grown a bit slack lately for a variety of reasons.
Thankfully, the semester is in its last weeks and soon I will get a break from the hustle and bustle of school. I recognize things could always be worse and I'm certainly quite grateful that they're not. I guess I just need to focus on the bigger picture!
Blessings to all this week.