'Tis the day before the New Year and all through the net
You’ll find pages of resolutions that still go unmet.
And that, once again, is the end of my poetry. What about all those resolutions, intentions, commitments that after a few weeks disappear into the ethers? If our pattern is to make resolutions that will likely lack follow through, why bother in the first place? What about a more simplistic approach? For example, take a little time to review and reflect on the year that was. Then ask, what aspects have been positive that we can bring with us going forward? Some folks who are very goal oriented may set time lines, short and long term objectives for what they want to accomplish in the new year, which is great. I, however, am not one of those people.
As indicated, I prefer to keep it simple. I look at what worked well and then try my best to do more of what worked. This doesn’t mean I don’t have hopes, dreams or things I’d like to accomplish. It means building on what works well and leveraging my strengths towards achieving what I want by-passes any pressure that comes from resolution making.
That’s what I would do. What would you do? We all need to do what makes sense for each of us as individuals, not follow the crowd. That said, I wish all of you the happiest, healthiest and most meaningful year of all.
“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” – Bill Vaughn
Comments are welcomed.
'Tis the day before Christmas and all through my mind, I searched for ideas, but there was nothing to find.
I’m going all prose now since poetry is really not my forte. Sometimes I even wonder about the prose part as well. After much thought and the muses obviously taking the holidays off, I figure I would take the day off, too.
What I really want to say is for us to remember the big picture. What matters most throughout December is also what matters most throughout the year. Love, benevolence, forgiveness, good will, peace, hope for starters. And, when it comes to giving we can all afford to give the gifts of smiles and kindness to anyone, any time, anywhere.
Blessings to you and yours during this holiday season with much joy in your celebrations and traditions.
As Lieutenant Columbo used to say, “just one more thing.” May you never be too grown up to search the skies Christmas Eve.
Comments are welcomed.
Last year I shared a few of the elf stories I had written for my grandkids. Well, while skimming through my archives of holiday stories for ideas, I came upon one of those elf tales. The theme being au courant, I decided to go for a reprint. Hope you enjoy.
Greetings and Salutations. Samuel here. After Santa talked with me about being responsible and productive in my free time, I said I would learn about meditation. I actually attended one of elf Yancy the Yogi’s Yoga classes. He taught us stretches and mindfulness. Then he taught Laughter Yoga. That was fun but not something I could really do by myself. When I was in the Smith house alone, I did do a lot of elf thinking. Here’s how I decided to spend those hours when no one was home.
The mindfulness technique Yancy taught was simply notice new things. I figured I could do that. Every day I would look around the house and try to notice something new. It turned into a fun game for me. I was amazed how many new things I noticed that I had not seen before I started paying attention. I highly recommend this noticing game.
After I got done noticing new things, there was still lots of time to fill. What to do next meant some more elf thinking. The children have a special shelf with all their Christmas books and stories. Why not spend some time reading them myself and see what people write about us and the North Pole operation.
There were some very beautiful and heart-warming stories. Those stories touched upon the essence of Christmas which includes peace, good will and loving kindness to all. There were also several stories about Santa, Mrs. Santa, elves, and the North Pole. Where do some of these humans get their ideas? If they had an inkling of the truth North Pole Enterprises would be in great jeopardy. Lucky for us, they will never know. Still, those stories make enjoyable reading to pass the time.
Okay. I did mention meditation so I must address the topic. I tried everything Yancy taught us. Sadly, I am not very good at this meditation thing yet. The taking deep breaths went well, but then I would fall asleep or my head would fill up with all kinds of thoughts. The thoughts were entertaining, but the idea is to have a quiet mind. I will keep practicing. Something I learned in my elf training as I was growing up was how important it is to work hard, put in a good effort and keep trying. Good things happen when you do that. That’s how I got appointed to be part of the CIA (Christmas Information Agency) and became one of Santa’s Not So Secret Agent Elves. You never know what’s possible unless you keep trying.
Comments are welcome.
After a conversation with my 11 year old granddaughter, I had to stop the presses on holiday writings. This was too juicy to pass up.
Sorry, I know the title is a little misleading. This piece is not about that tired, old stereotyped, gender-biased rhyme about what little boys are made of. This is actually about my granddaughter and a gastropod named Phoebe formerly Humphrey.
Did you know that pet snails may top the most desired pet list over guinea pigs and other small livestock of that ilk? So it seems, which is probably a good thing for parents. K, my granddaughter, related with great enthusiasm nearly everything you probably never wanted to know about snails. She received a tutorial by a couple of teen-age snail mavens on the care and maintenance of these gastropods at the nearby pet store. Surprisingly, they do require care and maintenance.
Where to begin? Let’s go back to the naming of the snail. Snails are neither male nor female but both since they reproduce all by themselves. At first K thought her pet may be a male. Thus the name Humphrey which is a fine name meaning peaceful warrior. However, after a few hours, K felt that Phoebe, which means radiant, glowing, was most auspicious. Phoebe it will be for perpetuity. Perpetuity, I learned, could be anywhere between now and 2 years. K educated me about the feeding, the ideal environment, signs of both good and poor health. So much information. Who knew?
Being a smart alec grandparent, I couldn’t resist asking if snails come in different breeds like dogs and cats. K nonchalantly informed me, yes, there are different breeds. The most popular breed, to which Phoebe belongs, is called Mystery. Smart alec Grandma asks, “Is that name because it’s a mystery why anyone would want a pet snail?” Fortunately, K grasped the intended humor and chuckled. She said there were several types of Mystery snails. Hers is a Gold Mystery, making the name Phoebe especially fitting. There are other types depending on the shell color, like Red Mystery, etc. The Gold Mystery is the most beautiful, of course.
The final piece to sealing the deal for this Gold Mystery marvel was for K to fork over the contents of her piggy bank. Seriously? Hard-earned piggy bank savings for a snail? When we were 11, we just had to look around the back yards and snails could be had for the taking. K paid her $3 as well as purchasing snail food (yes, there really is food just for snails or maybe fish.) and a lovely plant for Phoebe’s new home. BTW, K had let me know that Phoebe was a baby snail. Just thought I’d mention that. I certainly don’t want to leave out any pertinent, though irrelevant, information.
K was concerned that Phoebe might get lonely all by her/himself in that big tank. I suggested she/he wouldn’t be lonely very long once she/he starts reproducing. The problem with that, according to K, was it’s not the same kind of friendship. Parents, she explained, should have peers for friends, not off-spring. Agreed.
No worries regarding the loneliness issue. K has a friend, S, who is branding herself as a Snail Breeder. (I’m guessing, the only Snail Breeder for miles around.) S has 19 snails and offered K the pick of the litter, or whatever it’s called. Phoebe will soon have a guy/gal pal to climb the tank walls with. Grandkids are unequivocally the best happiness boosters ever, aren’t they!
Comments are welcome.
December, the wrap up month of the year. The previous 11 seemed to go by in a nanosecond. Along with December comes cold and snow, shorter days, holidays, pressures that accompany shopping, preparing special foods, hustling and bustling to have everything ready for seasonal festivities and traditions. There are obligations such as family gatherings, work parties, get togethers with friends, events at schools, and on and on. Let’s not forget the accompanying stress. Ugh.
I had just about finished writing this post when I happened upon the following. I ditched my writing feeling these words were more poignant and worth a share. Hope you find them meaningful, too.
“It's been quite a year, hasn't it? We have been through so much, collectively, and have our work cut out for us as we cope with the political, social, and environmental challenges that face us.
But the greater our challenges are, the more important it is for us to embrace a wise and deliberate way of being in the world.
We can remember to shine a light on what is beautiful and promising and precious. We can recognize what is beyond our control and quickly turn all of our energy toward what we CAN actually do. That is what we are responsible for. We can live in alignment with our highest values and principles, which will help to keep us strong, and find ways to be a positive force each day, even when the winds are whipping up. And we can inspire and encourage each other. That is one of our most sacred tasks as we make our way, day by day.” Gregg Krech
Comments are welcomed.