Saturday, December 24, 2011

Your Cadeau. . . Joyeux Noel!


What you will have in your hand is not a diary, a gratitude journal, a happiness notebook, a calendar or blank pages waiting for to-do lists.  What you are –- or could be –- holding is the best moments of your life, a collection of joyous, funny, surprising, ephemeral instants that needn’t be lost forever in the melee of a life led too quickly, too carelessly or perhaps too carefully.

By taking a few moments each day to gradually fill these pages with the instants that add rich detail to your personal history -- your autobiography -- you’ll see how it’s almost always the small things that make life meaningful and memorable.

We’re bombarded with tips on how to save time and in the commotion of staying in constant motion we get dinner on the table in under 15 minutes, eat it in 10 and somehow manage to gulp down a glass of wine while having an abbreviated “how was your day” conversation with the most important people in our lives. Multi-tasking is suddenly a coveted goal, not a distressing aberration of modern life.

Every day everyone has three, five or maybe more serendipitous, if infinitesimal experiences:  a random act of kindness, the sighting of the first robin of spring, a kiss, lunch with a friend, a compliment -- who knows? That is the wonder of each new day, and day-by-day we’re losing the wonder.  As prudently as we plan every hour of our existence we can never know what will give us pause, intrude upon our routine, make us smile. Serendipity, lest we forget, is the ability to make happy and unexpected discoveries by accident. 

That’s what this little book, your book, is all about.  It doesn’t demand grand writing, great effort or profound pronouncements. It is simply a record and a constant reminder that each day counts for far more than what we have so carefully planned. 

** Mode d'emploi (User Instructions): This is your Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's cadeau (after you complete your DIY project explained in yesterday's post)Take your golden ink and write "INSTANTS" on the cover of your new notebook -- a word that translates in many, many languages -- and the rest is up to you. 

We gave them in leather (you see pictured above) to Andrea and Will as a wedding present. INSTANTS is embossed on the cover as are their initials in the bottom right hand corner.

Life is too short not to treasure the instants.

May you have the joy, peace and love of the season throughout this year and those to come. And, may your life be filled with serendipitous instants. That is my wish for you.


Camomile said...

Love, love, love this. Thank you so much for a wonderful gift - my first from the blogging world and one that I hope to treasure for a very long time.
Thank you also for letting me into your world and for reminding me of why I am a Francophile.
I wish you and yours a very Happy and Safe Christmas and I look forward to sharing more of your words during 2012.

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

A fabulous present.

You are absolutely right, "it’s almost always the small things that make life meaningful and memorable".
New research indicates that multitasking may be detrimental to out mental health, so stopping to smell the roses or write entries into the "INSTANTS" journal may be more beneficial than one may initially think!

May the peace, love and joy of Christmas be with you throughout 2012. Bisous

Rayna@BrightCopperKettles said...

This brought tears to my eyes.

My dear college friend died this week from cancer. Aged 34. Her life was short, but VERY well-lived. SHE enjoyed "the instants".

Thank you, Tish, for this. Truly.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely idea Tish and one that I will adopt this instant. Merci beaucoup for this idea and also for your friendship. You inspire us with your ideas all year long and this might just be the best one ever.

Joyeux Noel to you and enjoy your family's visit.

Kadee said...

So very touchingly said, Tish! And so very true! I like the sound of that better than Gratitude journal as I feel that has been beat into the ground for years. This sounds simpler which I like. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Northmoon said...

Wonderful gift, thank you!

helen tilston said...

Merry Christmas Tish

I have my little book ready and will use it.

This is also a good reminder for us to perform acts of kindness and goodness (which I sometimes forget!)

My best,
Helen xx

Priscilla said...

What a wonderful gift, thank you and blessings for a wonderful coming year.

kathy peck said...

What a wonderful gift. I used to do this, and somehow in my multi-tasking, stopped. And what a beautiful wedding present idea. My daughter is getting married in September, and if you don't mind, I'm going to copy your gift idea for them.
Your post made me quite teary, as others have said.
I wish you the most joyous Christmas with your family, and may the New Year be kind to us all.
Much love,

BigLittleWolf said...

What a perfect reminder for us to slow down. And on that note, I'm going to sip my coffee as I finish wrapping, move on to my day's baking (and if it doesn't all get done, it doesn't all get done)... and I'm going to savor the "instants" we shared last evening around here - kids in and out, soup around the kitchen table, and a slide show on my younger son's computer of the past 4 months of architectural projects and his (newly) confident articulation of what he did and how and why.

Delightful moments, all.

Je vous souhaite tous un très bon weekend, de joyeuses fetes, et santé dans le nouvel an.


hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Instants is a great concept for recording those magical moments. A lovely gift indeed.

THank you for all your wonderful posts, they enrich my days.

Merry Christmas!

SheilaLouise said...

Love this.... It may be fun for all of us to share an entry once in awhile. Again, thank you and Merry Christmas to you and of course Happy healthy New Year! Xo

hopflower said...

What a wonderful idea!

Charlene said...

Thank you for this wonderful cadeau! Such a lovely idea. I've tried gratitude journals before but this seems like a more meaningful way to do it. Happiness truly does come in small everyday moments. Merci mille fois for all the inspiration your blog has provided me this year. Joyeux noel et meilleurs voeux!

Carol said...

Oh Tish, this is the loveliest gift you've given us.

l'm off to buy my journal and ink tomorrow.

May your life also be filled with serendipitous instants.

L'Elégante said...

Joyeux et merveilleux Noël chère Tish.
Garder pour soi des instants de vie, les embellir dans un carnet, les conserver précieusement comme des bijoux. J'aime l'odeur des carents neufs et celle de leur retrouvaille longtemps après quand les instants sont passés...
Ils sont ma matière, ils sont ce que je suis devenue et j'en suis fière !
A très bientôt pour d'autres découvertes.
Amitiés de Fine.

LPC said...

Merry Christmas, Tish! And may all your notes be full of meaning.

Judy said...

Thank you for reminding me how much I used to love writing daily in my little book...a goal to bring this forward again in my life in the New Year.

I too would like to say thank you Tish for sharing with all of us and bringing us all together here. Have a lovely holiday!

beautifuldreamer1066 said...

Thank you, Tish, for a lovely gift. I am a journal and list writer from a long way back but the idea of capturing the wonderful tiny moments of my life is a new one for me. Merry Christmas!

Lynda said...

Well, you're brilliant and generous and I predict that all of us who do this will be in for surprises galore!

I see this as quite different than a gratitude journal, which I've kept for years, and which has changed me in revolutionary ways. And I'm sure some of my Instants will be things for which I'm grateful. But as you mentioned Tish, I suspect there'll be more serendipity and wonder involved than a simple listing. Either way, it's gonna be a trip! Thanks a whole big bunch, and here's wishing you and yours a Light and Love filled 2012.

The Fashionable Traveler said...

Thank you! What a great idea. A dear friend just gave me the most beautiful journals for Christmas---I'm going to use them for this idea. I love that you say, "find a pen that you love to use everyday." Although, it's easy to go paperless these days, there is nothing that a blank note book and a good pen!

Happy Holidays.

Semi Expat said...

You are so right - what a fabulous idea. I am going to embrace my 'instants' from now on. Happy holidays to you dear Tish. xx

nik said...

Hello! I just found your blog and I think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!
Your blog is inspiring! I will follow you!
Merry Christmas!

SE said...

Thank you for this.... I am completely incapable of multitasking and have always felt inferior because of it, so have constantly tried to "improve" myself by trying, trying to keep many plates spinning. Just makes me crazy. Thank you for reminding me there is another way, and to appreciate each serendipitous moment.

Monique said...

C'est vrai, c'est le geste qui compte.

sara r said...

I loved the idea, and thought I might just actually do this!

Then when I ran across a great journal at Anthropologie (at 50% off sale price, which is also great for my practical side), it was serendipitous.

I know I'll be in good company this year :-)

Thank you for the gentle nudge toward noticing and appreciating our lives.

Claudia said...

Thank-you. It's all in the details - the small things that seem to bond us and connect us to each other and ourselves.

kim at northerncalstyle. said...

This is the best idea I have heard for the New Year! It's simple and won't take long, but I can keep the memory and remember.
Love your blog and all your thoughts!

Happy New Year!

Susan said...

Received a journal from my daughter for Christmas with the title 365....I have begun my "instants" journal, and, although I have kept a gratitude journal for many years, find this "new" concept quite refreshing.
Where I used to pick around 5 things or moments to give thanks for each day...this allows me to just write freely touching on one moment or two that left an impression....the writing flows easily and lightly.
Love it already on day 4!!! Thankyou sincerely for your wonderfully informative, humorous,caring and welcoming blog.
You have made my day so many times I can't thank you enough...and then you come up with this great concept.
Happy 2012 and many blessings to you and yours.

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