As I write this, I’m sitting at the Los Angeles Airport awaiting to board our flight to Osaka, Japan. Osaka is no small town, but our final destination is Kyoto. Oh, Kyoto… how we love thee.

A gaggle of young Japanese college students gather around us. They’re laughing and sporting fashion that is so different from what we wear here in the States. And I realize that even before I step onboard, I’m already experiencing a glimpse of the world outside of my own. The world that is still vast and unknown.

I’ve been reflecting on a few things, and hoping to mull them over a little more as we wander through Kyoto’s many gardens dripping with crimson maple leaves.

  • Moving onward post-election. In full disclosure, the past couple of weeks in the wake of Trump’s election have been mostly difficult for my friends and community. I want to take this time to reflect on what has really changed… and what has stayed the same.
  • Our world-saving mission. I’ve been reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek for an important endeavor at work. Our team has been feeling compelled to articulate what we’re calling our “world-saving mission”– not just a statement about what we make and how we make it, but the ultimate why of our work. Does your workplace have a world-saving mission?
  • Cherishing moments over snapshots. I have never been great at taking photographs in moments when I am really, truly enjoying myself. In addition to being a complete amateur when it comes to selfies, I tend to forget that making known my little moments of joy is part of living in the social media age. The truth is, taking photos feels like an interruption, not an enhancement. Unless, of course, photography is actually part of that special moment.

This Thanksgiving we’ll be eating sushi and traditional Kyoto cuisine rather than turkey. We won’t be gathering with friends around a table or whisking gravy on the stove.

And while I love American Thanksgiving more than any other holiday, I am looking forward to experiencing a different kind of gratitude. A quiet gratitude. A peaceful rush of appreciation for the blessings of this year, hidden as they may have been.

I also hope to be re-inspired to write. In the moments when we feel thus inclined, we’ll share a photograph or two.