2018 is ending and as I look around my desk, I notice all of the things that I’ve collected over the years. Each item inspires me but also tells me a story of my life:
-An eggplant pottery jar-stem and leaves for a lid that my friend and neighbor went to Japan one year to see their grandson and brought it back to me. I reflected on the good times we had and the sadness that ensued when they moved.
-A dragon watching over me – it sat on my first computer monitor.
-4 mugs of colorful pens and pencils – each mug telling its own story – the wizard’s apprentice; the No Guts, No Glory one with the small armored warrior attacking a dragon; Far Side’s aardvarks in love with their red tennis shoes; and the $100 flowered mug from Hawaii (go to the ABC store a million times and once you spend $100 you get a mug!)
-A beeswax candle from my in-laws from a Christmas past (not unwrapped because it is potent!)
-Various business cards, both mine from books past as well as others I’ve collected over the years
-Hundreds of pages of notes and article printouts from the various books I am working on
And all of the knickknacks my son made for me over the years:
-The colorful sand filled jars – how careful he was to layer each colored sand – a masterpiece!
-A bird on a stick made out of Styrofoam
-hearts made of “melty” beads
-An erupting volcano made out of clay
-A beautiful crystal art masterpiece – blue crystals erupting out of a gray rock – fired clay
But the best item on the desk is the “I Can” soup can decorated by my son when he was in preschool. In the can we cut up strips of paper and he wrote these little sayings of things that he could do:
-count to 100
-do mazes and puzzles
-say my ABCs
-make a worm house (I don’t remember what that was….)
-help mommy clean up the dishes
-pick out greeting cards and write thank you notes for people
-write my name
-help mommy measure, eat the ingredients and bake
-ride my scooter
-bike all the way to the park
-clap and dance
-put on stickers
-play board games
-eat by myself
-buckle my seat belt
-brush my teeth
-run around outside and bark like a dog (all kids do that!!)
-help mommy grocery shop
-clean up my room
Each year we add a few more accomplishments to the can – our accomplishments, our hopes and dreams, simple reflections on our lives.
Lately, he wrote:
-buy my own stuff
-build a home computer for work and to play games on it
And for my latest thoughts I added:
It’s a simple exercise but it makes a world of difference looking at the accomplishments over the years, remembering the good times and the bad and moving on to the next task at hand. I am grateful for my life, for my family and friends. I am looking forward to 2019! Happy New Year everyone!