Thursday April 17, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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The jar

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I am shamelessly religious about the New Year, like a dog marking tires on a freshly parked truck. I mark January as sacred, and embrace it as my time to change.

January is a friend and opportunity, a sled taking me somewhere good. Foremost, I look forward to changing me. And that's the goal: change me, not simply shine the veneer.

I've never been up for the latest in fashion, fragrance (neural-disruptors) or nail colour. I wear mostly second hand clothes, keep my own seed, hatch my own eggs and often use recycled wood for building projects.

As I age, a new year is less about acquiring status symbols and more about inner potential, challenging what I considered possible, rebirth.

I read a simple idea for marking the year's highlights that's worthy of note here. Take an empty glass jar and write 2014. Inside, drop tiny notes on hopes, experiences as they happen, thrills, observations of nature, successes, milestones and moments of gratitude.

As the year proceeds, these appreciations accumulate in the jar to be read at year's end, or perhaps at any low point from which you require a lift. It's a useful twist on the time capsule since a year can whiz by quickly.

The jar could even become a psychological experiment. If, by God, you're going to quit smoking again this year, a jar may become a "glass journal" of the crazy stuff you do, alternately running from or embracing your doom. Dating each entry may provide insights. I'm quitting swearing.

Farmer has taken time off his day job for holidays that must be used. His John Candy laugh echoes about the house, randomly making fun of us; sometimes of me "grinding away" at the ukulele.

I was remarking to my eldest daughter how important it is that I change, in particular, to love myself and others increasingly:

"If you ever start to think being alone is the worst thing in the world, think I again, I assured her. It's not. If I wasn't endeavoring to love people more as time passed, I would probably be dwelling on what irritates me about the people I live with and become increasingly miserable."

The first jar entry launches me into beautiful January feeling lighter. My resolution is simply to love my family more. It will be interesting to review the jar full of ways in which this commitment changes me.


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