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Reflect and be Thankful



Key words and phrases:

reflect on: carefully and deeply consider something

latter: occurring toward the end of something

Leap Year: years that have an extra day, February 29

recall: remember

a handful: a small number, few

evoke: bring forth, as in a feeling, memory or image

come to: added up to, total

oppression: prolonged and cruel treatment




Hello friends.

It’s December, a time to reflect on the year and think about the New Year.


The latter part of the year brings another special event to me; I celebrated a birthday a few weeks ago. On that day, I decided to calculate how old I was in days. As it turns out, I was 20,818 days old. That included Leaps Years, remembering that there was no Leap Year in 2000.

This led me to ask myself how many of those twenty thousand plus days were terrible days. I mean really bad days, ones that caused intense stress or sadness. I could recall only a handful. Next, I thought about how many of those days evoked the same emotion now; the answer was none.

Then, I considered the opposite. How many days had been incredible. Days that were amazing, events never to be forgotten. True, I could recall more on the positive side compared to the negative side. And, many of those days still evoked happiness because they included people who had a positive impact on my life, most of whom are still in my life today.


Adding up the miserable and outstanding days, it came to just a few dozen. So what about the remaining 20,000? They were just days, many forgotten because they were in childhood, others just passed by getting caught up in life. Like everyone, each day has its ups and downs, happy moments and things that cause worry. Just a “usual” day, you might say.


If that sounds negative or dull, maybe it is. Or, maybe it’s fortunate to be able to say that. Being born and raised in Canada and moving to Japan as a young adult, I, like most of you, have not known real hunger, war or threat of oppression by government or other forces. We walk around freely and don’t wonder if it is safe to go outside.


As we head into this Christmas season, take a moment, often, and consider the fortunes in your life. The people, the food, and the safety that surrounds us every day and remember that not everyone in the world has that. Let’s all reflect and be thankful.


Wishing you health and happiness, always.


Mark Tofflemire

Tailor Made Inc.

mark-tailormade@gol.com or toffy@gol.com

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