May 19th, 2017 by Jan

In 1996, Joni Miller sent me a letter sharing thoughts about her life. Being who I am, I copied the idea and every year around my birthday, I review and renew it.

Truth be told — this list has not changed much over the years. I have a great life and am grateful for it.

The biggest change I see is that I no longer work for money. I will say being retired is grand. Days fly by and I need the calendar to know which day we put out the re-cycle and garbage bin. Ken and I are fortunate enough to be able to do anything we want to and I have him to thank for that great gift.

As I look at this list and I can honestly say, the quality of my day makes up the quality of my year — which in turn are making up the quality of my life, and so far… so very good.

May I present the 2017 list:
I am grateful because:
(the only real change is #7. #2 gets much more of my attention and #10 varies. I added #11)
1. I am married to Ken Parker who continues to entertain me and make me laugh. He said I never took to the leash yet, I am happily tethered to him.
2. All the critical parts of my body are intact and healthy. When my parts do act up, I know who to call for help and healing.
3. We live debt free in a safe and beautiful environment.
4. I am a Canadian and a US Citizen and I vote.
5. My last drink was in 1984 and my life is better for it.
6. I am not cold or hungry; we have enough to share.
7. I am paid to teach, hence I am paid to learn.
8. My friends are generous and kind.
9. I take time each day to walk, read and write.
10. I have a daily practice that nourishes me.
11. Boze the doggy, has added great joy to our home.

A short list of things I’ve learned:
(all still true, but with #8, I’ll also add, I’ve learned to acknowledge that I know stuff, and #9 is not as important to me — having stuff is fun. I’m a born sorter, so stuff comes and goes)
1. There are lots of ways to become educated.
2. To be a good friend, you just have to pay attention.
3. Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.
4. A personal practice is personal.
5. Cancer sucks.
6. Error on the side of generosity.
7. Some times I am very inappropriate.
8. There is always more to learn.
9. Wanting less, is still wanting.
10. I cry and miss them when they die.

I am surprised by:
(only one item stayed on this list from years past)
1. The fact that I am 62!
2. My brother Art.
3. How many quilts I’ve made and the joy I feel when I give them away.
4. How much of a homebody I’ve become.
5. The fact I can cook!
6. How tight I still hold on to silly resentments
7. My need for health professionals
8. How little I like driving
9. How much I still love Facebook.
10. How great it is to be surprised.

I’m so glad to have:
(Okay, some changes here. I have added #11. Re: #6 – I don’t use the cuss word asshat much — my go to cuss word is fuck – specifically –  #trumpyoufucker. and with #8 – Not having many addicts in my life is just fine too.)
1. A handy fix-it type husband.
2. The same best friend for over 40 years.
3. Daily check ins.
4. Skype
5. A debt free life style
6. The cuss word: Asshat!
7. A sense of curiosity.
8. Morning Qigong with addicts.
9. A public and private notebook.
10. Windows to look out of.
11. My brothers Art and Ty

I’ve let go of the desire to:
(No changes here… okay I still kinda hope for #5.)
1. Get a formal education.
2. Weigh 135 pounds.
3. Master anything.
4. Fill every empty space.
5. Have Oprah give me anything.

I’d still like to:
(Okay – we’ve got some changes and two addition.)
1. Sing backup like a do-wop girl or a Pip. (I’d rather be a judge on a baking show!)
2. Make a JanJimJam CD of the Yang weapons drills. (This should be moved to the Let go paragraph)
3. Add to my tattoo. (Meh, if it happens okay, but I won’t go looking.)
4. See Today’s Step in the aftercare programs of treatment centres everywhere. (Done and done)
5. Write to just write, read just to read, sing just to sing, walk just to walk. (No change)
6. Move. (I’m happy here — for now.)
7. Clear out the stuff in the Harry Potter room… again. (How many people reading this even know where the Harry Potter room is?)
8. Participate in one of those public flash dances. (This I will leave on the list.)
9. Added –  I’d like to be more generous and be able to let go of pissy resentments easier.
10. I’d love to see a Roughrider reunion one day!
In the coming year-
I continue to aspire
I hope to continue to enjoy the wisdom of Rob Brezsny and strive to:
1. Cultivate Relaxed Alertness
2. Express Casual Perfection
3. Fill myself with Diligent Indifference
4. Practice Serene Debauchery.
5. Continue to look out windows.

My great gratitude to Ken. I love you to the moon! Also love to the amazing friends I am lucky enough to have, and to my brothers, who make family easy now! And a big salute to everyone who reads this bloggy thing. Thank you!

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