Saturday, 12 December 2020


 It's mid-December and although the days seem to pass so slowly, the weeks fly by.

It's Saturday again and Brian has headed to the Moss Street Market.

I went out early this morning to walk; the second day in a row, following the same urban route that has enough hills to make me feel I've accomplished something. When nearly home, I told myself that I should do this 5 days a week, and that I should stick to it.  

And then my dislike for shoulds and resolutions struck!

Walk...lose weight...cut back on wine consumption...keep away from U.S. political news and, of course, the computer. And on and on.

Resolutions centred on me and my wish to improve and my need to be resolute in keeping to my self-promises.

An online dictionary defines "resolute" as follows:


admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. "she was resolute and unswerving" "

To be "unwavering" and unswerving"  is very far from how I wish to proceed in my life.  Where would be the adventure? The chance encounters. The listening to and the embracing of new ideas. 

These personal firm decisions, resolutions waiting to be broken, or at least, bent. And then, of course, disappointment in my failures, disappointment in me.

Someone in the neighbourhood* has a large Gratitude Tree in their front yard with daily messages inspiring appreciation. Borrowing from the Advent tree format, each morning there is new positive action for the day.

                             DAY 3: Be fully present during conversations
                              DAY 7: Provide encouragement to someone today

These daily messages inspire and motivate us to look beyond ourselves. To look to the greater community and how we can spread kindness and caring beyond ourselves and our circle of friends and family. How, in this time of isolation and restriction, we can still reach out.

We can reach out, and by doing so, we not only support others, but it comes about that we nurture ourselves at the same time.

When I was a child growing up in Montreal, we occasionally traveled to New York City.  We stayed at a hotel and across the street was a restaurant that had a donut-making machine. My sister and I would stand and watch the donuts moving along a special conveyer belt, fascinated. I remember that there were two large cutout images of a man, each one holding a donut and the words beneath them saying, "As you travel through life, my friend, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole". 

If I were to choose a resolution for the new year, that might be it!

*Michael Cunliffe.