All I am is measured by the year

“Not what you have, but what you use. Not what you see, but what you choose. Not what seems fair, but what is true.
“Not what you dream, but what you do. Not what you take, but what you give. Not as you pray, but as you live.
“These are the things that mar or bless the sum of human happiness.”
I discovered this beautiful composition in the book, “How to Love,” by Gordon Livingston. Sometimes words just jump off the page and into my soul—and these ones certainly did.
I printed and framed the piece for my bedroom wall. It smacks of that old familiar tune, “To Thine Own Self Be True.”
This week I’m all about “Day 365.” As much as I’d thought beginning a new year at midnight on Dec. 31 would mean a fresh new start, I cannot deny that until I make it past Saturday, Jan. 19, I won’t truly feel that my new year has begun.
I’ve come to believe that making it to the anniversary date of the first year after any major event in life is an occurrence of legendary proportions, and each of us comes to it in different ways.
I also have come to believe it is a sacred journey to its crest—no matter how it’s walked.
I’m not sure yet what I’m going to be doing this Saturday, but the closer I get to it, the more I hope I’m going to get up at sunrise and live the day as fully as I can.
I would be a fool to think that the events of what happened here in my neck of the woods that day one year ago won’t be on my mind. That’s okay. It’s all okay.
I continue to believe that each day I am where I am supposed to be. This conviction carries me. It has carried me through the last 12 months. It carries me in this moment—and this moment is all that I truly know I have in this life.
My friend, Patty, gave me a bereavement gift last January that I can say, without a shred of doubt, remains the best gift I’ve ever received in bad times and in good. It’s a fridge magnet that reads “One Day at A Time.”
I’ve tried to live by that code ever since. It takes a lot of the pressure off of projecting myself into tomorrow’s dilemmas and next week’s problems, and keeps me grounded right here.
I’ve also been reading the daybook, “The Language of Letting Go,” by Melody Beattie. She’s my nightingale of freedom. There’s not a morning that goes by when she doesn’t impress upon me a valuable lesson about giving up control and the letting in of life as it unfolds before me.
These are good things and the good I need will find me when the time is right.
Since Jan. 19, 2012, I have written more than 45 columns for this space and I’ve dug deep many times on what it means for me as a survivor left behind by the suicide of a loved one. I wanted to pay forward the German proverb that says, “To bury grief, plant a seed.”
I’ve done the best I could.
On Saturday, I’m going to think about the road I’ve walked and I’m going to continue to do my best to honour my life, as good as it is, and it is very good. Very good, indeed.
In fact, I think I’ll go snowshoeing across one of my snowy fields with my beavertail snowshoes that my dad gave me just before Christmas. The snowshoes once belonged to a fantastic family friend and well-known district auctioneer, the late Rod Salchert.
And as I’m walking along in the cold winter air with the spirits of all the good people I’ve had in my life, I’m going to remember what Melody Beattie said about letting go. And then I’m going to spend my evening sitting by the fire with someone I care about very much.
“I think of letting go as being like throwing a baseball. The problem is I just don’t want to let go of the ball. Hanging on to the ball is a temptation. We’ve got it in our hands. Why not keep it there?
“At least if we are dwelling on the problem, it feels like we are doing something.
“But we’re not. We’re just holding onto the ball, and chances are we are holding up the game.”

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