A typo. Decided it could function as an (sortof, not quite) anagram.
Hang on. I’m gonna ask ChatGPT.
Bext is a portmanteau of next and best. (Not an anagram.) This is the bext christmas that I can remember. It’s perfect for my present circumstances, and is meaningful like some of my other favorite christmasses.
What’s perfect is how many nibblings are involved. Normally I haven’t called them this in their presence, I call ’em by name or nickname. There aren’t that many but this year there are three different families with children who have grown up with me hanging around in the background and sometimes in person. And each gathering has happened on a different day, so the generous social part of the institutionally-acknowledged holiday season is prolonged in all the best ways!
Another thing that’s great about this christmas is who I’m texting with: my family (mom’s side), some of my family (dad’s side), local friends, and a few far flung friends (Tennessee, California). Other friends and colleagues are in mind, even though we’re not immediately interacting.
Also I’ve had significant downtime! I told friends today that I’m living in retirement time. At least a temporary, faux version! Covid started it on the Wednesday afternoon prior to the U.S. national holiday called “Thanksgiving.” Took me out for 5 days. Didn’t fully recover for an entire month — which was into the beginning of all the holidays clustered around the northern hemisphere’s Winter Solstice. I’m not working for a full week, bookended by long weekends. Folks – I haven’t had this much time not working since . . . before college? There may have been other interludes of travel or not doing income-generating work, but I’m nearly always “working” on something!
I am actually working on something now, too, but it’s a fifth or sixth of the day, which has included 2-3 hours of socializing, leisure reading, food prep, gift prep, tv-watching, walking, taichi, making sure the plants are misted, putting things away instead of leaving them out to accumulate… yep. This is a humane pace of living 🙂
There’s time for creativity, too!
See, some of ChatGPT’s answers are just boring. I mean, they regurgitate what is relatively established knowledge at a rather general level.
This is standard anthropological knowledge about human beings for millennia. That’s a solid answer, which doesn’t dig itself into any particular hole based on positionality of class or any other kind of social identity and intersectionality.
I’m convinced that earnest use will generate state-of-the-art answers. (Just because an answer has been around for a long, long time doesn’t mean any ‘newer’ answer is better! In some fields of knowledge, new answers have to resolve a problem or improve upon the old answer. There are also fields of knowledge that are more subjective, meaning it depends on the point-of-view considered (or, often, the p.o.v. selected without thought to what other perspectives are being excluded). These fields of knowledge require more thinking, because new answers might just be adding to the whole rather than replacing or building on a previous answer.
Anyway, as I was saying, bext christmas ever!
Definitely sending the vibes of joy and peace round and round to all ya’all.
As ever, here’s to building more resilience!