I'm writing this on Christmas Eve Day and as always am amazed by what I've learned and what I cherish.
This has been a year of transition for me and for the planet. It's an unsettled world and I think that makes it difficult to feel settled in every day life. Yesterday I came across somebody's advice about important things to do before you die and it got me thinking about my own advice.
So here goes: here are the things I offer as helpful and important for a happy(ier) life.
1. Never take the sky for granted. Look up and you are guaranteed to see changing sometimes gentle sometimes ferocious beauty. Guaranteed.
2. Know what you appreciate. This is a new fence for our place in Provincetown. It has created an actual yard from a tiny plot of land. Every time I look at it I swoon. I can't say why, but I know the fence has made me happy.
3. Be on the lookout for your favorite colors and covet them. A scarf, a pillowcase, a window box: bring your colors into your life and let them soothe you.
4. Time, place and circumstance determine when it's right to indulge guilt free and when it's best to be prudent. This is true of people as well as chocolate.
5. Hold on to people who matter and add festivity and support to their lives whenever you can. Send a card and decorate the envelope. Call more often when times are tough. Be a kind good person at every opportunity.
6. Appreciate blessings and good fortune and recognize when you have it.
7. Slush and tough sledding? Or simple beauty? This is the same principle as seaweed or starfish. You can't ignore the tough sledding and seaweed but there is always more.
8. Loss happens. Longing hurts. Several years ago I thought my heart would never heal. Now I know that people and memories will always live on inside me. Seeing it this way has helped me immeasurably.
9. Things don't always need to be precise. Fog can illuminate and protect in ways that clarity cannot.
10. Look to be astonished. Look and keep looking for anything that exalts and astonishes you. Do you see the leopard in this photo? You have to believe there is a leopard to be seen, because there is.
Tonight JB and I will share our table with good friends and tomorrow we will for the first time travel to our daughter's house for Christmas day. It will not be the Christmas we have had in past years and there will be new people at the table and changes in tradition and routine. But through it all we will share the day with four blessed much loved little children and I will see my Jessica secure and happy with her family and I will be grateful for JB in my life and I will look up at the sky and think about my new fence and ….. and….. and…..
Happy holidays, dear friends and visitors. Thanks for being on this ride with me.