Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Island Idylls, Question of the Month, Being Thankful

ImageChef.comIsland Idylls: Stories of growing up in the U. S. Virgin Islands. This is a repost of a blog from several years ago.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it in your heart that every day is the best day of your life.” That quote is suspiciously similar to; “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

New Year’s resolutions are fine, but I/we should be looking at each day as a new beginning. Each day is the beginning of a New Week or New Month. Anyway, time is illusory and doesn't really exist. It's all in our minds. But I am, like everyone else, a victim of it.


Can you tell? I’ve never been a big New Years person. I think it all goes back to a New Years party my family went to when I was nine, in 1960. This picture shows my mother on the left with her good friend Nora. My sister, Erva,  is smiling big in the back-ground wearing the lei. She was 13 soon to be 14, as tall as any adult. The picture was taken right at mid-night. Everyone is happy and smiling and toasting and kissing and…where am I?

I remember being excited, wanting to help ring in the New Year. It was a big deal. 1960, turn of a decade. Everything, I thought, would be new and different once January 1st showed its face. I think it was the first time I became aware of the change of the year and what that “meant.”

I hung on as long as I could. Probably sometime between 9 and 10 pm I got sleepy. Certainly I was not used to staying up much past 8:30 or 9 o’clock. I was taken to a bed-room and remember specifically telling my sister and my mother to, “Wake me up at mid-night.”

Of course it didn’t happen. By the time mid-night rolled around the party was in full swing. The adults had been drinking and dancing, laughing and talking and Bish was forgotten. I don’t remember getting home. But I do remember the next day I was terribly disappointed that I’d missed The Big Event.

It was supposed to be a new day, a new year. But the business of being a family and doing chores, of eating and washing dishes, making the beds and sweeping the floor, were going on just like they had the day before and the day before that. Nothing had changed.

So what, I wondered, was “new” about it? I came to this resounding conclusion. Nothing. It’s just another day.

Because of that observation I’ve never gotten excited about New Years. Except for 2000. Just how often does a person get to ring in not only a new century but a new millennia? Well, not often. And I had a good time with my husband and friends. We fired off fire-works and scared the donkeys, but that’s a whole nuther story.

I didn’t stay upset with Mom or my sister for not waking me up. And I remember that dress Mom wore. It was white with gold-thread accents. It was probably silk, looked kind of like a sari. I thought she was beautiful. She was and will always be.

Happy New Year.


***
I decided to join this monthly bloghop because answering thoughtful/challenging questions is one way to expand one's mind. Hosted by Michael D'Agostino at A Life Examined ,  the question this month is: 

What are some New Year's resolutions you've had in the past? 

Well, as you might have gathered from the above story, I don't do New Year's resolutions. Why wait for the end of one year and the beginning of another to set them? Why not make them as and when you need them? Today, this moment, is all any of us has anyway. So don't wait for that special moment, because it will never come unless you make it so.
***
Being Thankful

Today I'm thankful for shelter. 
Lest we forget or pretend not to notice, there are people all over the world who have none.
Cleveland night homeless
Cleaveland

Clochards célestes - San Francisco
San Francisco

Dorothea Lange, Homeless mother and child near Brawley, California, 1939
The Great Depression
Homeless in LA
Los Angeles

Syrian refugees having rest at the floor of Keleti railway station. Refugee crisis. Budapest, Hungary, Central Europe, 5 September 2015
Syrian refugees

***

What are you thankful for? Are you a New Year's resolution maker or do you work on goals year round? Got a favorite New Year's Memory?

29 comments:

  1. Hi Bish - your mother looks amazing ... and yes I struggle to stay up late ... and am sure I missed some turning over the clock time. Goals - I need to do my planning this afternoon into tomorrow ... but I am so grateful I'm not a refuge or immigrant looking for a new home ... I do count my blessings ... Happy New Year - cheers Hilary

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    1. I count my blessing too, Hilary. Every day.

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  2. That's a lot of homeless people.
    Good point that the only moment we really have is now. Tomorrow is not promised. So, get with it, people!

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    1. Too many, Alex. And yes, this moment is all we have. (I need to get with too!)

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  3. Yes, that's so true about how we should look at each day. And so sad that so many people in our country don't even have a home.

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    1. No one should be homeless in the U. S. or hungry. We are so rich, have so many resources. I don't understand why.

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  4. You got up the next morning hoping yo wouldn't have to do those chores anymore, didn't you?

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  5. This was the first year in a long while that I actually stayed up until after midnight. And that was an accident. Just got to talking and forgot the time.

    Good to remember those who don't even have a home and take a moment to be grateful and perhaps think of a way to help.

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    1. We were so asleep by midnight we didn't hear the fireworks going off all around us, which they do every year.

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  6. Yes, I'm thankful to have a home. A world full of money and so many go without, there's no excuse and yet it's the poor that do the most. So sad.

    A quiet evening at home, lovely!
    Happy New Year!

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  7. Every night in my prayers I give thanks that I have a warm, comfortable and safe home. There are so many who don't and it's not just in big cities. Happy New Year, Bish.

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    1. You're so right, Susan. It's everywhere, even in the small town I live in.

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  8. Celebrate O yee around the christmas tree but your photos truly illustrate the plight of lifeforms far less fortune than ourselves. Theres so many of them littered around the planet and we should never forget them. Happy New Year, Bish.

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  9. I remember watching TV as a teenager. The New Year's Count Down! Man, they were boring.

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  10. Great photo of the 1960 party. Also, good reminder that others are struggling and that they are all our neighbors. Here's to a prosperous new year.

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  11. I don't make resolutions and don't have a favorite new year's memory. I'm grateful for my dogs, Franklin and Penelope. I don't know what I'd do without them.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Dogs are always worthy of our thankfulness. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I remember being really disappointed when stayed up for the first time until midnight. I expected more. lol

    I'm grateful it's not an election year (for me). Happy New Year!

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  13. Great post, Bish. I too, know that disappointment of NYD being the same old thing, but just a different day. Thanks for visiting my blog since I've started it up again. I hope to keep up with it--and everyone else's blogs--better this year.

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  14. I'm pretty much like you in the since that New Year's is just another day though it's special when with special people. I always loved the New Year's celebrations with all of my family--mother, brothers, sisters, and all. This year was special with just my wife and I. We were traveling and went to bed relatively early so we could get an early start the next morning. Quiet times can be just as special as the rollicking ones--every day is as good as it is perceived to be.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  15. Being thankful may seem like a tiny New Year's Resolution but is actually a life changing one. Glad to have been here. Being grateful for small things always made me a much happier person.

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  16. Very true that nothing really changes in a day because it's a new year. And being thankful for what we have is key!

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  17. Poor little Bish.... slept right through the New Year and these days, I'm with you.
    But I do remember the New Year's celebrations of yesteryears. I love the dresses of your MOM and her friend. We always dressed up in sparkly, cocktail clothes. New Year's Eve used to be one of my favorite party days but now, as you say, it's just another marking of time. That is
    a precious picture.

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  18. I'm pretty sure I slept through Y2K. I was 8 at the time, so like you I wasn't used to staying up that late :P

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Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!