Brave new world.

Ecclesiastes 3.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

I am full of hope that this new year will see us enter into a new phase of life. For me it is a brave new world. I hope that our expectations are less, that we can live off what we have without desiring things that are uneccessary. I hope that we can judge both others and ourselves less and learn to be tolerant, compassionate and kind. That we begin to appreciate that success is not measured by the amount of money or belongings that we possess and that our status is ascribed by our actions and words and not by our “job” or our “qualifications” or our “bank balance”.

I love my family unconditionally. There are times in the last few years where we have all faced adversity and unexpected challenges. I hope that my girls continue to walk forward in their lives secure in the knowledge that they are loved and that it is what they give, what they contribute and what they make of their lives that counts. I hope that they have many moments of joy and they have the heart and soul to recognise those moments for what they are. I am already proud of them beyond measure and they have already given me more love joy and pleasure than it is possible to describe.

For me it is a time to express my gratitude for all that is, and has been, and will be.

In this moment we are infinite. (Perks of Being A Wall Flower)

© Alison Jean Hankinson.

 

Give Thanks

We are often blinded to what is of real value in our lives. We are often blind-sided by material wealth and economic worth and seek to measure our worth according to our apparent successes and failures at acquiring wealth and establishing some form of economic status based on it. These high expectations can indeed plummet us into great chasms of despair when our net worth based on these rigid criteria is seemingly low or even non-existent.

At 50 I find that I appear to be worth less in wages and respect than I was when I was 25. This has been a hard lesson to learn. However I can live off less, and I realise that so much of how I have measured myself is based on unrealistic monetised criteria.

I hope we somehow teach our children to recognise and measure their value and worth in other ways.

I hope they learn to measure their wealth in the size of their hearts and the depth of their compassion.

I hope they learn to measure their worth in their ability to give thanks, in their tolerance and their preparedness to give support and guidance to others in need.

I hope that they learn that time is of value and is often underestimated.

When you put aside the desire to be the most successful, or to have the most money it gives you the opportunity to look more closely at what you achieved in life and what is of value in and around you.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a mum, and for me this was not a done deal.

I am thankful that I have been able to work most of my life in a job that has been profoundly interesting, engaging and in a field that I have been extremely passionate about.

I have been fortunate and am thankful that my work has been fulfilling and challenging and that I have often felt that I am making a worthwhile and valid contribution to society.

I am thankful for my family, all of them, warts and all, a husband who has at times driven me to distraction but always been there to hold my hand and walk beside me when the road has been tough. I am thankful for my children who have made me what I am, everything I have done has been to be able to give them something of value and worth. I am thankful for my sister and my parents for all that they gave to me and all that I learned from them.

I am thankful that when I have made mistakes I have had opportunities to recover and learn and try again.

I am thankful for the friendship and love I have received over the years from people whom I have loved and cherished and also sometimes from complete strangers.

I am thankful for the world around me, the beautiful buildings with their amazing stories, the sea and the landscape, the weather and all that is nature, from the humble daisy to a seascape at sunset.

When we take time to think about what makes us glad, we are able to remember that value and worth are not necessarily linked to money.

Namaste.

©Alison Jean Hankinson