Friday, January 04, 2013

The Pearl Ring

The start of a new year often brings about feelings of and desire for change.  Be healthier, exercise more, eat less, quit this, start that, and on and on.  Really, at the root of all of these ‘resolutions’ is just to BE better. BE happier. BE healthier.  Just BE a good person.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions because I know that I probably won’t keep them.  When I make a change it has to be because I really want to and because a mental switch has gone off in my head that says, “NOW, it’s time, NOW, you’re ready”, not because the calendar year has changed.

Early in 2012 I wrote about my Grandmother, Violet Alger.  I wrote about what she meant to me and I told the story of my pearl ring – a posthumous gift for my 18th birthday.  I wrote this memoir with passion, and while I still think about my grandmother pretty much every day, the pearl ring was put out of my mind.

Last week Little O was playing in my bedroom, opening drawers and pulling out treasures.  He came across a small jewelry box that I had all but forgotten I owned.  I took it from his little hands and opened it to have a peek to see what was inside.  A couple of pairs of tarnished silver earrings, half of a gold “Best Friends” pendant, and other assorted baubles adorned the small case.  Then I noticed a fabric pouch.  Tucked carefully inside was my pearl ring.

I’m 38 years old now, which means that I’ve had the ring for 20 years.  I wore it for maybe a year after I first received it, but scared to lose it, break it, or ruin the pearl, I tucked it away for safe keeping and special occasions.

The pearl is set in yellow gold and I now only wear silver or white gold jewelry.  Yellow gold just isn’t my taste anymore and my first instinct was to return it to the pouch I found it in.  But while I held the ring and thought about what it meant to me I just couldn’t put it back in the jewelry box.   I slipped it on my right hand ring finger and thought about my grandmother.  She wouldn’t have wanted the ring to sit in a jewelry case for 20 years.  She would have wanted me to wear it and enjoy it and think of her when I look at it.

I am now wearing the ring every day and I am using it as inspiration for my ‘mantra’ for 2013: treat every day like a special occasion and remember those who have passed with love and happiness.  2012 was a bit rough for a few reasons, not the least of which was losing my Dad, so I aspire to live a bit more ‘fuller’ in 2013. The hardest lesson I learned last year was that life can be over in the blink of an eye and you only get one chance on this earth.  To that end, I aspire to BE happier and better and healthier.  This isn’t an easy thing to do and it’s not going to happen overnight, but I am going to try my hardest.

What do you aspire to BE in 2013?