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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My friend and I met at her place a few days after New Years.  It was a freezing cold Saturday morning and so the perfect time to hang out.  I arrived with my beautiful pottery bowl full of slips of paper. She had her cookie jar.  She had spread 2 poster size pieces of white paper on the floor in the living room.  After we hugged, we each took our container and emptied the contents on to our piece of paper.  Then we had a really delicious breakfast. I only mention that because I appreciate all the good food in my life! 

After we ate we went back to the living room and we sat beside each other’s slips of paper.  It was really pretty.  Lots of colour and lots of shapes.  And then began to read them.  This project started at the end of 2016.  Both of us had been going through challenging times and were both weary.  I think I can say that we both were in need of inspiration and focus.  So we decided to take on a project for 2017.  We each committed to writing a word or two, everyday, on a slip of paper.  Our original agreement (I think, it was so long ago) was to notice something good or happy or beautiful every day.  We would do it for all of 2017 and then in early 2018 we would meet, empty the contents of our containers and look back on all the good things that happened in 2017.  And so we did it.  Sometimes it was a pain, sometimes I know I forgot to put a word (or a picture) in.  Looking back on it, I remember being really enthusiastic in the beginning, and then it just became a part of my routine and I did it without a lot of thought or energy.  So when we met  on that cold January morning to empty the jars, I had no expectation really.  Mostly I was glad to have breakfast and see my friend.  But when we sat beside each other’s pile of papers and started to turn them over and read them something really cool happened. It was so inspiring.  365 little pieces of paper full of goodness and positivity.  I got to re-live some of her years adventures and she re-lived some of mine.  We laughed. We asked questions.  We noticed trends.  We honoured each others beautiful lives and the simple things that make us happy.  We howled when we couldn’t remember what the words meant. 

And then we switched places and spent time looking at our own slips of paper.  2017 had a number of challenging things for me and if you asked me about that year I would probably tell you the hard things.  But these slips of paper reminded me that there was something good every single day. Maybe it was a spectacular sunset, or birds at the feeder. Maybe it was someone giving up their seat on the TTC.  My little heart grew and grew as I read so many names on my slips of paper. Wow, I have a great family,  friends and co-workers and students.  My heart expanded as I read about so many things I did in our county.  There is so much going on.  I ended the morning so inspired about my life and the choices I’ve made.  What a great way to end 2017 and start 2018.  So we packed up our slips of paper and committed to doing it again.  Paying attention to goodness every day.  It helps.

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