So here we are, a brand new page, year, day . . . all clean and white and waiting for us to write upon it. It is good to take down the old calendar and to hang something new upon the wall. How bright and clean and fresh the new one looks. It seems to symbolise the high hopes and expectations of this new morning of this brand new year.
I have a thing for calendars. When I was growing up every business gave one out to their customers. The banks. The milkman. The local garage, etc. My mother still has a couple hanging on the walls downstairs in her rumpus room. (Love that word, but I can assure you there is no rumpusing going on in my mother's rumpus room.) It has hung on her walls for years because it is pretty and made from bamboo, delicately printed/painted, like a chinese work of art. Probably given to her from the House of Cheng eons ago, and kept because it was different.
We are gifted each year with a lovely family calendar by my brother. It is filled with family photos of every member of all of their extended family. Todd and I, and my sister and her partner are in it, as are my mom and dad. It is lovely because it has all of the holidays for three countries included and birthdates, anniversaries, etc. It also has nice big squares that you can write things in. I like that in a calendar. Space to write things in.
As I flick through the crisp new pages of the months I am all too suddenly aware of the mystery of the coming months, which is both exciting and scary at the same time. It is the same for each of us . . . none of us knows what the coming days/months/year will hold. Each clean page, with its neat rows of days, represents unlived time. Time, the promise of seasons yet to come, days not yet granted . . . days that are still God's secret. Mysteries of the future waiting to unfold . . .
I always treat myself to a Susan Branch Calendar. Two in fact. One to keep pristine and up in my craft room and the other down here to write upon. In years past I have also treated myself to a desk blotter calendar of hers, but this year I couldn't afford it. C'est la vie. I still have the old one sitting upstairs on my desk and it still brings me pleasure. Normally I have also gotten a Mary Englebreit one as well, the little desk one that has a plastic holder and you can rip off the pages daily. But I have to be honest here . . . . I saw a side of her after the recent election that I didn't like, and that wasn't in harmony with all that I thought that she was . . . and it kind of left a sad place in my heart. I know we are all human and she is no different, but her calendars always have these cutsie, nice, inspirational sayings on them, and now it just seems like poppy cock to me and hypocritical . . . because I feel like she isn't that person with the tolerant and cutsie inspirational heart. Perhaps with time I will be able to get past it, but for now, no chair of bowlies for me.
And of course I have the calendar I put together for me and my family and special friends. But I don't think I could ever write on that one either.
I always have this feeling at the beginning of every year that this will finally be my year. And each year ends up being my year. I suppose it is all about perspective and expectation . . . growth.
In Sunday school this year we are studying the Book of Mormon again and I look forward to delving into it a little deeper and excited about the little gems of inspiration and wisdom I will glean from the lessons. I am also very excited about the Gordon B Hinckley manual which we will be using in Relief Society for our second and third lessons every month. Gordon B Hinckley was the prophet when I first joined the church and I can remember the great anticipation I had to listen to him speak at the April Conference that year prior to my Baptism. I remember being so impressed with his wit and his wisdom. Here was this man in his 90's who was vibrant and alive and interesting. He won me over and I could tell from the beginning that he was a special man. That feeling never changed with each year from then until his passing. I think every convert has a special place in their heart for the prophet who was in place during the time of their conversion. In any case, I look forward to learning more about him and from him over this next year.
Spiritual growth is never a bad thing.
This year too sees a special project which is simmering on the back burner, and which I will enlighten you about as soon as it is set in concrete and I am free to do so.
There will also be challenges, but with each challenge in life also comes an opportunity for great growth and so I expect this year will be no different. Perspective . . . its all important. We all have challenges to face. Nobody is immune. The difference comes in how you handle them. Cup . . . half full, or half empty. I am a half full kind of girl. Yes, I do have boo hoo moments, but I try to rise above them as quickly as I can, and look forward instead of backward.
So I am expecting this year to be a good year in every way. Even the bad stuff can be good if I allow it to be good. Its all up to me.
Mitzie is still quite poorly. We had her to the emergency Vet last night, which wasn't cheap, but worth it to know that it is nothing serious and we have some medicines to give her and hopefully she will soon be recovered. Chances are she probably picked up something on one of her walks that she shouldn't have. She is such a little greedy thing and if she finds food that someone has dropped she snuffles it right up and won't let go. We need to work on that. It was an expense we could have done without. Thanks for your prayer and well wishes. Also good news for my friend Kathy. Her cancer has not spread so it was contained and that is a real answer to prayer. So thank you so much for your prayers on that front also! God is good!
A thought to carry with you through today or maybe even the year . . .
My friend Valerie posts the nicest things on facebook. I got this from her.
In The English Kitchen today . . . A Lighter Green Bean Casserole. Delicious. ☺
Have a great first day to the year! Don't forget . . .
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And I do too!