Behind My Red Door

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Fresh Start

Isn't that what each New Year holds for us? A fresh start? I like to think so. But actually, if we think about it, in reality, each moment can be a fresh start. We can all stop right now and start fresh - RIGHT NOW. We can work on changing behaviors we don't like, or thoughts we shouldn't have or start something new and different in our lives. Many of us tend to wait until the New Year when we don't have to. I guess it's human nature!

Mother nature on the other hand has given us in central MA a fresh start, that is for sure. We had over 20 inches of snow on the ground last weekend and with the rain and 60 degree temps this past weekend, our lawn is as green as can be. Only a few snowbank remnants tell the story that we had back to back storms not long ago. Maybe Mother Nature is telling us to learn from the past, but start fresh??

Behind My Red Door, I have given the living room a fresh new look. After putting Christmas away for another year, I did a little rearranging. When Franklin Schmidt, the photographer for Country Sampler was here in July, he asked me if I had ever tried my Homestead Chair under my big red shelf instead of against the railing where it has always been. At the time, I just didn't think it would work, but this past weekend, I tried it and I love it there. It seems to open up the room. It's a simple thing, but it feels like a fresh start.

I have said before that I like to think of myself as a 'glass half full' type of gal so in keeping with that, I believe that 2009 will be a fresh start and better year in many ways than 2008 was for so many. Yes there are still so many things out of our control, the wars, the economy, Wall Street, and so on. But there are so many things still in our control. How we look at life, how we treat each other, and so many other things ARE still under our control. Making each moment count for something. Making a lasting impression with our lives. We can all do that.

My sweet friend Bonnie from north central MA, also known as Prims4me over on Webshots, sent me the link to a WONDERFUL 3 minute video by Linda Ellis, called The Dash. The Dash, began as a simple poem that speaks volumes about why we are put on this earth. It's about what we do in the dash - the space between when we are born and when we die. Here are her words:

The Dash
copyright 1996 Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars....the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard...
are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what's true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?

The poem is available in a gift book, framed print and journal from:

So as we end 2008 and head into 2009, many of us full of resolutions that may or may not last, let us all resolve to make to make our dash something we can be proud of. It is my only resolution for 2009 but I think it is a lofty one. I won't always succeed, after all I am human. But I know that the very next moment, I can start fresh and do better. I can always start fresh.

I leave you that as I make my last post of 2008. I have so much to be thankful for in 2008 - my lists are long, and one of the best parts of 2008 was 'meeting' all of you. And as I look forward to 2009 with so much hope and excitement, I look forward to sharing much more with all of you. Thank you for sticking with me this long. I'll see you in 2009!

Until then - hugs and Happy New Year, Linda